According to the union structure, distribution workers are “vigorously mobilized” on a large scale in the Saturday strike, due to the right not to work on May 1 and negotiate a collective contract.
The Confederation of Workers in Commerce, Offices and Services in Portugal (CESP) said in a statement that “workers are being mobilized vigorously to join the strike on May 1st,” a holiday marking Labor Day.
The strike includes “workers from all supermarket and hypermarket chains” and other companies, such as El Corte Inglês, which, for the first time since being in Portugal, decided to open on Labor Day, says Celia Lopez, director of CESP, to Lusa. .
Workers will organize strikes across the country and will focus in El Corte Inglês, in Lisbon, in the presence of CGTP’s General Secretary, Isabel Camarinha.
Celia Lopez says the disagreement is “the right not to act on May 1 and negotiate a collective contract that has not been reviewed since 2016”.
According to CESP, the wages of large distribution workers, at the top of their careers, are 665 euros, the value of the national minimum wage, and the Portuguese Association of Distribution Companies (APED) has submitted a proposal to determine the wages of specialized workers. (The highest € 698.25 is “below the national minimum wage expected in 2022.”
In addition, the employers’ union is calling on the unions to “accept the introduction of the watch bank system and accept the reduction in the amount paid for overtime,” as stated in the CESP statement.
“Our doors were closed for several months.”
An official source from El Corte Inglês told Lusa that the company reiterates its “commitment to retaining above-average paid employees and high levels of retention and training in the work environment,” dismissing comments on protests identified by CESP.
The company explained that the decision to open on the first of May was taken jointly with the company’s employees, and it is a way to reduce “even slightly” from the losses of the past few months.
“We closed our doors several months ago and our main concern has always been job preservation, and even when we resort to“ layoffs, ”we have been able to make up for the pay gap, with an extension provided by the company,” confirms El Corte Inglês.