From LABOR-L@YorkU.CA Wed Mar 8 06:15:33 2000
Date: Wed, 8 Mar 2000 00:31:40 -0500
Sender: Forum on Labor in the Global Economy <LABOR-L@YorkU.CA>
From: Andy Lehrer <>
Subject: URGENT: Solidarity call by Portuguese workers

Urgent solidarity

The Portuguese section of the CWI, 8 March 2000

Sintra Council's cleaning workers are involved in an all-out strike against the privatization.

They are taking action against ‘private initiatives’ of two urban areas of Sintra Council. All the cleaners and drivers at Sintra Council are planning to go on strike from March 4 to until 10.

The workers and their union, the STAL, have been in dsipute with Sintra's Council since January. President Edite Estrela, from the so-called “socialist Party”, the pro-capitalist rulling party in Portugal, ignored the workers' demands, gave approval to the Head of the Division's attempts to intimidate the workers, and showed disdain for the representative democratic structures of the workers.

The Plenary Assembly of the workers of this sector, supported by the Regional Leadership of the STAL Local Councils Workers' Union, entered into strike witht he following demands:

After three days of a 100% supported strike, Edit Estrela tried to break the right to strike. At the same time she refused the workers on strike the right to organize the most essential jobs, allowing garbage to pile up in the hospital of the Telhal and at the Nursing home of the Idanha—to try to blame workers for eventual public health safety problems. Also, she is supporting action that stops striking workers' access to the sanitary facilities.

But the determination of the workers was clear in the action of the pickets who quickly stopped lorries and explained to the workers of the private company the reasons for the strike and therefore this ‘illegal’ action. The 3 lorries of the company were unable to break the strike.

Face with the determination of the workers, Edits Estrela was soon forced to accept a meeting with the Union on the fourth day of the strike.

However she and all the Right are trying to blame workers for this strike on grounds of Public Health danger. So the solidarity and support of workers are urgently needed.

The Lisbon Council Workers' Union already sent a Solidarity Message and has appointed a representative to support the strike.

Please send urgent solidarity messages to

Francisco Raposo

Shop Steward of Lisbon Council Workers' Union

Representative of LCWU in the Strike Support Group