Portugal's Main 725,000-Strong Union Considering General Strike

Tyler Durden's picture

Who would have thought permanent austerity and a government crisis would lead to popular unhappiness. Well, the General Confederation of Portuguese Worker, better known as Portugal's largest union, for one. From Reuters: "Portugal's largest labour union is considering calling a general strike as it steps up protests against painful austerity measures that are expected to deepen under an EU/IMF bailout, its leader said on Thursday..."A general strike is an instrument that is on the agenda."" And with 725,000 members, and the certain shutdown of the Portuguese economy that would ensue, it is perhaps time to consider what will happen in Spain and soon all of Europe as the wave of austerity started almost a year ago spreads, and what the impact to European GDP (and thus global) will be. But most importantly, where will the credit money come from to push the world from this latest imminent downturn. After all Jon Hilsenrath telegraphs to us that there will be no QE3. And who are we to disagree.

From Reuters:

"This is not the time to be silent. It has to be the time for protest, action and responses," he said.

Portugal launched talks on Tuesday with European authorities and the International Monetary Fund on a bailout that is expected to total 80 billion euros. The bailout deal is expected to include further tax hikes, spending cuts and privatizations.

Carvalho da Silva said the union rejected "external intervention" as it would stoke a rise in poverty and unemployment.

He stopped short of setting a date for a general strike, but said the union plans to intensify its protest campaign, starting with nationwide rallies on Labour Day on May 1.

The bailout is expected to be approved in mid-May just as Portuguese parties campaign for a snap general election on June 5. Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigned last month after the opposition rejected his austerity measures.

Will protests pull a "Greece" and turn violent?

Protests have mounted in Portugal during the sovereign debt crisis, but remained peaceful so far. Several hundred thousand marched in two rallies in Lisbon last month and public transport workers have staged intermittent strikes for weeks.

Surely the bulls will find the good news in all of this: on one hand the world is experincing a supply crunch from Japan. On the other hand, "prudent" European fiscal policy is resulting in demand destruction. Put the two side by side, carry the decimal zero, and equilibrium prices will end up staying the same. What better reason to BTFD.

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pendragon's picture

that'll give china another reason to buy the euro....

Urban Redneck's picture

The parties to the Pentapartite Pact have deigned that Portugal shall be the puppet of Brazil.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Portugal is small potatoes. It's the ripple effect over in spain that needs to be watched.

Another Tunisia like pilot flame that could fan somethign much bigger in it's crumbling neighbour, where un-employment is high (more that 24% real) and dis-enchantment with the system strong...

All eyes on spain...



masterinchancery's picture

80 billion Euros here, 80 billion there......pretty soon you're talking real money.

Long-John-Silver's picture

Greasing the skids of economic destruction.

IdioTsincracY's picture

C'mon people, start kicking some serious butts!!!

It's got to start somewhere in the industrialized nations ... the sooner, the better....
otherwise we'll all be working for minimum wage with no safety net at all....
enough of this race to the bottom!

HamyWanger's picture

This is a very unpatriotic attitude. Those 'union' punks should be sentenced to the electric chair. 

nkktwotwozero's picture

I agree. Electric chairs for bankers and politicians. Poste-haste!

Long-John-Silver's picture

I prefer the use of Guillotines myself. Electricity is not required and operators would be happy to work for free.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Ah yes, now that is an efficient solution.  Must be a small business owner.  PLease, let's start with Larry Summers.

SheepDog-One's picture

A bit messy, but fun entertainment for the crowds!

nkktwotwozero's picture

"Welcome to Monday Night Rehabilitation!"

:: Idiocracy* ::


*Originally made as a fictional movie, it has now a documentary.

yabyum's picture

Guillotines: Carbon free and green.

Bob's picture

Better for the environment, too--much lower carbon footprint.

youngman's picture

and good fertilizer too

youngman's picture

and good fertilizer too

MSimon's picture

Hemp. Is there anything it can't do?

pops's picture

Let's hang them, instead.  Wouldn't it be fun to watch them "pull the strings" from the other end?

laughing_swordfish's picture

Hangings and Guillotinings are nice but messy...

I like the Chinese way...

Fill Yankee Stadium with cheering crowds, and then some 9mm back of the head ventialtion and a quick dirt nap..

Starting with Bernanke, Geithner and Summers...

A Man without Qualities's picture

Don't worry, it's very positive for the markets.  Unions members hardly do any work when they are there anyway, and at least this way, they don't have to pay them...

It's their wives I feel sorry for.....

midnight's picture

Mind your own business, redneck. It's for other countries to determine how to handle their own unions

writingsonthewall's picture

Is the acceptance of debt slavery patriotic then? If so then you can keep your patriotism thanks.


Unions are merely a survival tool of the people - when they are put under pressure they have to work together against the system.

You could try it too - if you weren't so alone....

I am in an unrecognised union - a workers solidarity - there is no leader and no political agenda - it's just workers clubbing together to protect themselves.


If you worked then you could experience that too!


Still, it's going to be fun watching all these highly paid bankers and politicians trying to run the trains, sail the ships and working the factories when the strikes hit big time.


Strikes are about reminding people who are the REAL wealth creators in society. Banks can have all the FIAT money they want - it won't make that trian move!

Spastica Rex's picture

Harry doesn't live here anymore.

frenchie's picture

strikes didn't change much to what happened to Greece for instance...

IdioTsincracY's picture

those were not strikes ... after a couple of days things went back to normal ... the dying middle class has become to lazy and complacent to even protest as they move into poverty.

Give it some time ... all we need is the right level of pain ...

TIMMAYYY's picture



(i havent been thins tense since i tried explaining that new rash to my wife)

breezer1's picture

i know what you mean.  i sure hope i don't get that AIDS thing again.

breezer1's picture

i know what you mean.  i sure hope i don't get that AIDS thing again.

Bob's picture

By then we're gonna be looking at a worldwide socialist revolution.  The pigmen know not what winds they beckon . . .

Meanwhile, we gotta cut that deficit and embrace "serious adult" austerity here.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

we have an invention called a printing press.  what could be the problem?

Caviar Emptor's picture

Exactly. We've done macro bailouts (banks, mega corporates and whole countries) now we go micro: bailing out individuals and villages! We start in Portugal and show just how generous the USA can be. 

ivana's picture

Printed "money" never reached any of taxpayers. If/when it reach them - it gets conficated automatically by inflationa and/or higher taxes.
In the meantime, economic contraction just keeps going on and on ...

Urban Redneck's picture

Once the printing press product reaches the dirty taxpayers it no longer deemed sterile by CB standards, and they would be forced to admit inflation. 

Caviar Emptor's picture

Anti-Establishment Revolution widens

Muir's picture


"This is not the time to be silent. It has to be the time for protest, action and responses," he said.

Portugal launched talks on Tuesday with European authorities and the International Monetary Fund on a bailout that is expected to total 80 billion euros. The bailout deal is expected to include further tax hikes, spending cuts and privatizations"



Well at least our European brethren are smarter than us.

Dick Darlington's picture
04-14 10:11: EU's Rehn says "We are ready to do whatever it takes to defend the EUR" The European plutocrat ponzi master is on the wires, again, to tell he stands ready to rape every single european tax payer. He has the cdo-like rescue vehicle (which has no capital) but when the crisis intensifies i have my doubts abt the vehicle's ability to raise hundreads of billions of new debt from the markets. Would be better to call it the day and start restructuring the insolvent countries (and banks) debt.
slewie the pi-rat's picture

i'm a sick fuk, sometimez!  remember the egyptian breadheads?  slewie just pictured the portugese union marching militantly down the streets of lisbon, wearing abalone shells! 

I am Jobe's picture

Hey now, we have American Idol and Sports in the USA to keep us occupied. Nothing to see here, move along.

el Gallinazo's picture

Until they repo your 52 inch plasma

Dick Darlington's picture

What are they waiting for? In the spirit of Nike: Just do it!

04-14 10:07: Ireland says will also seek burden sharing in Irish Life and Bank of Ireland
TIMMAYYY's picture

im off to watch the pianist, just to learn how to survive whats coming up.

tmosley's picture

Yes, let the collectivists consume Europe, and then starve.  I will buy up the remains for a few oz.

s0lspot's picture

You'd have to explain to us how the "individualists" would do a better job at stopping this financial insanity...

You seem to forget that, wether you like it or not, we are all (in every country) living in collective organizations called society, nation, republic, community, whatever...

Are you living off the grid 100% ? Got your autonomous agriculture, industrial and health system down in your bunker have you? Personal robot surgeon, robot farmer and robot worker all constructed by yourself? If so then how come you play the markets? Got internet? How would you have internet without collective structures providing it to you?

You'd have an individualist internet-ie a lone pc.

Your comment is schizophrenic though I appreciate some of your other posts.

Unions are what ended the Industrial age, child labor, 12h workday, monarchy and a whole lot of other Elitist social control systems.

I agree that unions, just like banks, states and other technocratic structures have spinned out of control in the last 30 years but the hard truth is : it's all the People have left.

Especially here in Europe. In Obummer's land i frankly have NO idea how the People(s) might be able to stop the Cabbal without some sort of collective organization - spirit. In Europe unions can be successfull, sometimes...

Unions are a classwarfare weapon. If you hate unions then you hate people fighting for their right to live in decency.

Today here in Spain is the Day of the Republic. Without unions (old school, sincere and not self-centered ones of course) the country would be 3rd world class without a doubt.

Unions fought Thatcher till the bitter end and lost. Neoconeysian policy brought England to the shithole it is in right now.

Luckily 95% of them are betraying the people just like politicians so they'll soon end up like the state ; a distant memory.

But this hate on collectivism is akin to pre-adolescent nihilism : a lot of senseless noise.

EDIT : in the EU you have both private & public sector unions ; its not a matter of state workers Vs private sector worker as it seems to be in Amerika.

writingsonthewall's picture

Brilliant post - unfortunately it's probably lost on the audience it was intended for.


They actually think a man is an island and that they can 'manage on their own' - but when the SHTF then they will all become 'socialists' overnight.


There's nothing as sickening as an individualist who relies on others but simply isn't aware and crows about how he / she is able to 'manage by themselves'

Josh Randall's picture

Don't sing it, Bring it

RobotTrader's picture

Yet another reason to turn on the printing presses full blast.

Then watch the unintended consequences:

New highs for WFMI, SBUX, CMG, PNRA, etc.....


HamyWanger's picture

Must agree with Robot on this one. The coming Greek restructuration too will be a perfect excuse to press the "magic button" and diluate value into infinite fiat. 

The DOW will easily reach 16,000 in 2012, to the great disappointment of doomers.