The Regional Government of Madeira has called on the Government of the Republic to take “exceptional measures” to safeguard the region’s supply chain during the Lisbon Port strike. Dockworkers at the Port of Lisbon decided on the 4th of February to call a three-week strike, from the 19th of February to the 9th of March, in protest against the four port companies who have proposed a 15% wage reduction for all their employees.
In a statement, the Regional Government said that “since the port of Lisbon is not dependent on the Regional Government, what we sought to do, from the first hour, was to alert, by letter, the Government of the Republic, namely, the Ministers of Infrastructure and Housing and Labour, Solidarity and Social Security of our concerns. In their letter the Regional Government asked that exceptional measures be taken to safeguard the supply of goods to the Region particularly as the strike warnings will affect Madeira and Porto Santo as will constraints to the ports operating hours.”
An executive from the PSD / CDS-PP coalition, advised there will be a series of stoppages, some in the form of scheduled strikes while others will include absenteeism at work, which has already occurred at the Port of Lisbon. This, of course, has had a knock effect to all the other ports on the continent and the autonomous regions, with some notable shortages in the Region, especially food products.
The Vice-President of Madeira added that in the letters sent, the Regional Government of Madeira requests the intervention of politicians Pedro Nuno dos Santos and Ana Mendes Godinho, to ensure that maritime operations to and from the Region are assured, avoiding losses resulting from a failure to dispatch goods to Madeira and Porto Santo, with a particular focus on fresh and perishable goods and health care products. If action is not taken regional import and export companies will incur financial losses but other commercial enterprises, including restaurants and hotels, if deprived of raw materials, will suffer and harm both Madeira’s and Porto Santo’s tourist industries. Another worry for the Regional Government is the provision and supply of medicines and other health products. Any failure in the supply chain could create severe complications within the health sector.
As a consequence of difficulties in the Port of Lisbon, the Regional Government stresses that “some entrepreneurs in the import sector have resorted to dispatching cargo through the Port of Leixões in the north of the country but with a substantial increase in transport costs.
The President of SEAL – Union of Dockers and Logistics Activity, António Mariano, issued a statement saying that the dockers employed in three sectors of the Turkish Group Yilport – Liscont, Sotagus and Multiterminal – and a fourth company, TMB ( Multiusos do Beato Terminal) have unanimously decided to go on strike in protest of the proposed wage reductions.
According to António Mariano, from the 19th to the 28th of February dockers will only work a set number of hours, while from the 29th of February to the 9th of March there will be an all-out strike.
However, the President of SEAL did say that the strike will not affect employees working for the Portuguese Group ETE which will continue to operate its scheduled transport service to Madeira.
info at madeira-weekly.com