CESP – the Portuguese Trade, Office and Services Workers Union, estimated that the strike scheduled for today had an adhesion between 30% and 70%, assuring that there were stores that didn’t open.

The distribution workers and trade are on strike today, on Christmas Eve, to require the closure of Sundays and holidays and wage increase, and the leader of CESP Célia Lopes, assured Lusa that the “goals were achieved”.

According to the CESP leader, the final numbers of adhesion should be known at the beginning of next week.

“Our goals were certainly achieved. Over the last few years, workers have seen their wages and professional careers absorbed by the value of the minimum wage. Some time ago we used to say that in commerce there was a lot of precariousness and very low salaries and this reality, today, is more and more transversal”, the union member started by saying.

As an example of the problem faced by workers in the sector, Célia Lopes reported dialogues in which employees “with 20, 25 years of work, either in traditional commerce or in food and non-food distribution chains” guarantee to “receive 20 euros above the minimum wage that will come into effect in a week”.

The CESP leader pointed out several examples of the impact of the union, starting by saying that “many Minipreço stores did not open”, that the “H&M store in Chiado was only working with five workers”, emphasizing that it was a “four-floor space” and, finally, that the “Zara store in Castelo Branco also did not open due to lack of workers”.

In addition to this, he added, “a very significant adhesion of workers in hypermarkets, with the closing of counters, with long lines of clients, because we have adhesions of more than 50% in some places”.

Admitting that “only Monday or Tuesday will have the final numbers of adhesion to the strike”, Célia Lopes estimated an adhesion between 30% and 70%”, explaining that the “specificity” of being Christmas Eve and that the “stores close earlier meant that there were fewer workers scheduled”.

Even so, the leader confides, “the employers’ associations will not go through this strike unscathed and will come to the game to negotiate with the unions the revisions of collective bargaining agreements and wage increases for workers.

In a message sent to the Lusa agency, the Portuguese Association of Distribution Companies (APED) informed: “APED members have no record of any disturbance because of the strike. What we can see is an extra motivation from our workers so that nothing is missing on the Portuguese table on this special day”.