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Strike for higher salaries affects hospitals and closes schools in the Algarve

strike portugalHospitals left with minimal services and schools closed. Public service employees are on strike this Friday, January 31st, and the Algarve is feeling “a strong adhesion” to this stoppage.

Rosa Franco, of the Union of Workers in Public and Social Functions of the South and the Autonomous Regions, said that, in terms of health, the three hospitals of the “Centro Hospitalar e Universitário do Algarve” (CHUA) “have minimal services”.

She explained that: “Many consultations in Faro and Portimão are cancelled. The operating rooms are operating on minimal services and some blood tests have been cancelled”.

As usual, one of the most visible faces of the strike is the closure of schools. 1,500 schools were closed nationwide, including Agrupamento Teixeira Gomes in Portimão, and the Secondary Schools of Loulé and Albufeira.

In some public departments, such as the Social Security offices of Faro, the employees are working, but with constraints.

A large strike demonstration is scheduled for today, starting at 2:30 pm, departing from the Marquis of Pombal, in Lisbon. From the Algarve “four buses are going on this journey of struggle”, Ms. Franco revealed. “We will take our revolt to the demonstration. We have people working for 20/25 years earning the minimum wage. There must be an update of a remuneration table for the entire civil service, which has not happened since 2009” she concluded.

This is the first strike since the new government António Costa took office.