In a statement regarding the general strike held today, June 27, in Portugal, Jerónimo de Sousa, General Secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party, stressed:

Today’s great general strike, with a remarkable unity and widespread support shown in public opinion and on the streets, constitutes an undeniable expression of the wish for change and a massive show of force by Portuguese workers and the people.

Today’s general strike clearly shows four fundamental aspects:

First. The general strike constitutes an irreparable shock for the PSD/CDS­PP government and its policy, a government and policy outside the law, on the margin and against the Constitution of the Republic, discredited and without legitimacy. From today onwards the issue is not whether the government will be defeated. It is the continuation and intensification of the struggle to speed up the moment of its defeat, freeing the country from its disastrous policy.

Second. The general strike constitutes an undeniable demand of rejection of a right­wing policy, of the SGPs, of the Pact of Aggression signed by PS, PSD and CDS­PP with the European Union, the ECB and IMF, of the course of national disaster, the worsening of exploitation, impoverishment, recession, unemployment, attack on the social functions of the State, on public services, on democracy and on national sovereignty.

Third. The general strike constitutes a clear demonstration of rejection and a determination to face and defeat the programme of measures that aims a new cut in wages and other pays, increasing precariousness, easing of dismissals, including the attempt to dismiss tens of thousands in Public Administration, increase in working hours, increase in retirement age, new penalisations in social protection, with less benefits in sick leave and unemployment, an even greater cut in pensions and retirement pay.

Fourth. The general strike represents an undeniable affirmation of participation, increase in social and class awareness, strength, dignity and will to change, by those who do not surrender, nor remain silent, in face of the destruction of their lives and the country, who demand a worthy future for the present and coming generations, for jobs, wages, rights, collective bargaining, social security and public services, for the resignation of the government, early elections, for an alternative policy, for Portugal with a future.»

Today’s general strike, one of the greatest ever, had strong support and a big impact on national life, on the whole country and in various sectors of activity, in industry, services, in the private sector and the public sector

  • the stoppage, full or partial, in many industrial companies;
  • widespread stoppage in the fishing fleet and fish markets;
  • full or almost full stoppages in the rail, river and urban passenger transport companies,
  • very high support, as a whole, in private passenger transport;
  • a stoppage in most seaports and significant support in air transport;
  • a massive support by the postal workers ;
  • a very strong participation in central and local governments;
  • the growth of support found in large shopping distributioncenters in shopping malls and stores, hotels and canteens,
  • in the financial sector and
  • in private social solidarity institutions and charities.

This is a strike with strong expression in many other areas, as is the case of arts and entertainment, media, revealing diversified support and a great participation by the workers from the Lusa press agency

Many workers with casual labour links went on strike for the first time.

in this day of struggle many thousands took part in more than 50 demonstrations and concentrations, showing a great support and participation by the Portuguese people».

The PCP saluted Portuguese workers for their participation in this day of struggle, even more significant given the situation of unemployment, with a million and a half unemployed workers, the precariousness, the economic difficulties, several threats and repressive actions. The workers stood out against fear, massively joined the general strike, a huge show of courage and determination, in defence of their interests and rights, of the aspirations of the Portuguese people, of Portugal’s future.

The PCP also saluted CGTP­IN, the great trade union central of the Portuguese workers, which took the initiative of calling the general strike, the various structures and organisations that joined it, the thousands of leaders and activists who, with their class conscience, dedication, resilience, combativeness and courage, clarifying and mobilising beforehand, in picket lines in their companies and workplaces, created the conditions for the success of this great day of struggle by the Portuguese workers and people.

Portugal has spoken. The workers, the unemployed, the retired and pensioners, the younger generations, the Portuguese people, have made their voice heard to the big national and transnational capital and its political representatives in the country and the world.

The PCP reaffirms the urgent need to put an end to the right­wing policy that successive governments have executed and the course of national disaster into which they are leading the country. The PCP reaffirms its confidence in the need and possibility of materialising a patriotic and left­wing policy and a government to execute it.

The future of the country rests in the hands of the workers and the people, using all their rights set down in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, with the pursuit and intensification of the struggle for their interests and rights, for the values of April 1974 in Portugal’s future.

June 27, 2013