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Drivers’ union maintains strike proposal and rejects claims that their syndicate is “illegal”

union shutdownThe president of the National Union of Hazardous Materials Drivers (SNMMP), Francisco São Bento, said yesterday, Wednesday the 29th, that there is no reason to shut down the union and that the strike scheduled for September will continue.

“The strike was previously announced, and so far there has been nothing that has made us appease the Public Ministry, we don’t foresee the cancellation of this strike as of this moment, so if there is no change until the 7th of September, the strike will advance normally until the 22nd, “Francisco São Bento said in an RTP interview.

The Public Ministry has called for the dissolution of the National Union of Hazardous Materials Drivers (SNMMP) in a lawsuit filed this month

The Ministry maintains that there are “non-conformities” in the constitution and statutes of the SNMMP, which is why it has been requested it be shut down by the Lisbon Labour Court.

“From the analysis of the constitution and the bylaws of the aforementioned association, it was concluded that there were nonconformities in mandatory legal precepts, namely the participation in the constituent assembly of at least one person who is not a worker, within the professional scope indicated in the statutes, “explains the Attorney General’s Office, in a written reply sent today to the Lusa agency. Some believe that this is an aimed jab at the union’s well-known advocate Pedro Pardal Henriques.

Francisco São Bento said today that, from his “little legal knowledge (…), there is no reason for the union to be extinguished”.

“If there is any irregularity, that irregularity will be regularized. We see no reason for the dissolution of the union,” he reaffirmed. Moreover, he admitted that a hypothetical regularization could lead to a “change of the statutes” of the SNMMP.

However, in the event of an SNMMP shutdown, Francisco São Bento acknowledged that the emergence of a new union “is considered” but revealed that he is not currently interested in “doing future projects” because he “strongly believes that the present situation will be resolved”.

The SNMMP president was also accompanied by Pardal Henriques, who left the position of union spokesman to be the head of the Republican Democratic Party (PDR) list for the Lisbon district, running in the October legislative elections.

The SNMMP, which was behind the strike earlier this month, has issued a new strike notice for the period from the 7th to the 22nd September, this time covering only overtime and weekend work.