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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Trade union federation to mark 1 May with distanced marches, rallies

Lisbon, April.21,2021(Lusa)-Portugal's largest trade union federation, the CGTP, is for a second time in the Covid-19 pandemic planning to celebrate 1 May, Workers' Day, with street marches and rallies in multiple towns and cities, albeit with capacity restrictions to ensure safe physical distancing.
This year May Day is to be marked with concentrations, parades and demonstrations in all Portugal's districts and autonomous regions, while taking due care to avoid the spread of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
"The 1st of May will have a component of commemoration, but it will also be a great day of struggle, of reaffirmation of the demands of workers," the CGTP's secretary-general, Isabel Camarinha, told Lusa.
The federation's commemorations are to take place under the slogan 'Fight for rights, fight exploitation' to reaffirm its defence of employment, wage growth, the 35-hour working week and the improvement of public services.
"Basically these are the big issues to which we have been demanding an answer, but which we have not been able to get, in fact, from what we saw in the Green Paper on the Future of Work, it seems that we are going in exactly the opposite direction," the secretary-general said.
Camarinha, who was elected to her current post in February 2020, will this year be able for the first time to go on stage in front of the Fonte Luminosa fountain in Lisbon to address demonstrators spread across the lawn of the Alameda Afonso Henriques, even if fewer people than in previous years will be present.
In 2020 the CGTP defied lockdown rules, ignoring criticism, and celebrated 1 May at the Alameda, although only with a few hundred people positioned at pre-marked places on the lawn with several metres of distance between them.
Due to the need for physical distance, Camarinha was not able to be flanked by the federation's other leaders when she made a brief speech at that event.
"We made a point of commemorating the 1st of May last year because it was necessary to denounce the attacks on workers' rights, given that many companies took advantage of the pandemic to sacrifice workers even more, and this year the situation is no different", she told Lusa.
Before the pandemic, the CGTP's events to mark Workers' Day included initiatives in over 40 locations, with the high point in Lisbon, with a mass procession from downtown to the Alameda, where thousands of people were waiting in a festive atmosphere.
For this year, just two small marches are planned, from Campo Pequeno and from Anjos, to converge on the same spot.
"The marches will take place with due distance and with masks, because we always defend compliance with health rules, it is our priority", said Camarinha.
She recalled that since 1 May 2020 the CGTP and its affiliated organisations have staged dozens of demonstrations and rallies, "always complying with health rules, without registering any problems" in the process.
"We hope that this Workers' Day is experienced already without a state of emergency, it would be good for everyone," she said.
The current period of emergency, which was approved by parliament last week, runs until 30 April.
Portugal's second-largest trade union federation, the UGT, is to mark 1 May with a conference on labour issues, as it did last year.


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2021-04-22 10:23:00


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