In just three days, the fuel drivers strike has thrown chaos into Portugal. Lack of fuel in the stations, planes diverted to Spain, public transport to cancel careers, factories to stop their production.
After 80 hours of strikes, with the country collapsing, the National Union of Dangerous Goods Drivers (SNMMP) and the National Association of Public Road Transport Transporters (Antram) reached an agreement on April 17 to end the strike and negotiations.
After the first meeting ended without any stride and in a tense tone, the union representing about 600 drivers transporting fuel and the employers of the sector return to sit at the table today.
The meeting will start at 6 pm at the Ministry of Planning and Infrastructures in Lisbon, and will count on government mediation, as previously established.
SNMMP guarantees that it does not intend to withdraw from its main requirement (1,200 euros of basic monthly salary) and that it will only start with negotiations when this requirement is accepted by the employers.
"The only thing that is on the table for tomorrow, to avoid other forms of fighting, is € 1,200 base salary," SNMMP's vice president said in an interview on TVI on Monday evening.
If there is no agreement on this claim, drivers admit to returning to strike. "We will consider ways of fighting or claiming that we may have, among them there is the possibility of giving a notice of strike," said Pedro Pardal Henriques.
The union member pointed out that a driver of dangerous goods receives 630 euros of basic salary per month and that this remuneration reaches 1,200 euros to 1,300 euros per month through the payment of several subsidies.
Asked why drivers are demanding a value they already receive, the person in charge has clarified that the issue is related to the basic value of the monthly remuneration.
"So if you get 1,200 or 1,300 euros, what is the problem of Antram paying 1,200 euros of base salary?" Asked Pedro Pardal Henriques.
In addition to the salary issues, SNMMP points out that one of the sector's problems is the "workload far above the legal limits".
According to the trade unionist, there are "more than 50 cases" in court for hours worked in excess, proven by the tachograph of the truck, which is a mandatory device to record the hours of driving in the heavy. "The average will be between 15 and 18 hours," he said.
SNMMP denied on Monday afternoon that there is any notice of strike to start on May 17, as it was reported, the union told TSF.
The alleged general strike would be scheduled to start on May 17 and last for an indefinite period, similar to the one that paralyzed the distribution of fuel, and there is even an alleged union document circulating on social networks, but the president of SNMMP claims to be false .
For its part, Antram considers that the basic wage claim of fuel drivers is impossible to satisfy. "I can not move to 1,200 euros with the contract that exists today. It's completely impossible, "Antram leader Gustavo Paulo Duarte told Jornal Econômico.
Asked what the outcome of this second meeting might be, he said it was difficult to predict what the SNMMP position would be. "I can not foresee what will be the position of this union that is very unorthodox in its demands and measures."
About the fact that the first meeting ended in a tense atmosphere, the leader of Antram admits to have been surprised. "It does not seem normal for a person to get out of a first negotiation and be waiting for a conclusion. I think it's because of the union's joviality and lack of experience. Real negotiation takes time. "
Asked about the threat of strike by the union, Gustavo Paulo Duarte recalls the agreement between the two parties to start negotiations.
"We have a labor peace agreement signed by the end of the year. A warning to strike Antram with many bad eyes, "he said.
"The use of the strike is a right, but it must be understood as the last weapon that can be used," said the leader of Antram.
Minister Pedro Nuno Santos invited Guilherme Dray to act as negotiator for the Government, according to the Observer and Eco. The lawyer was already involved in the negotiations in the strike of the dockworkers of the Port of Setúbal, at the invitation of the Minister Ana Paula Vitorino.
Guilherme Dray was the chief of staff of Mario Lino, Minister of Public Works of José Sócrates. Later, the lawyer was chief of staff of Jose Socrates in his second Government.