Communist backed trade unions staged big rallies in Lisbon, Oporto and Coimbra on Saturday (27 November) to protect against the Portuguese government's industrial policy.
GV pan Massed crowd chant with banners
SV and CU union banners (4 shots)
SV TU Syndicate delegate leads crowd in chant from platform
CU's and GV's Mass demonstrators chant (4 shots)
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Background: Communist backed trade unions staged big rallies in Lisbon, Oporto and Coimbra on Saturday (27 November) to protect against the Portuguese government's industrial policy.
SYNOPSIS: A crowd estimated at 20,000, was at the May First stadium in Lisbon to voice their disapproval of the Socialist government's policies. They chanted slogans against a freeze on collective wage-bargaining, a law enabling managements to dismiss workers more easily and a government decision to have Christmas bonuses paid partly in Treasury bonds. The protest meetings were organised by Intersindical-the Communist Trade Union Confederation.
The mass meetings also called on the government to expropriate more private land for general use.
The rallies were seen as part of amounting communist offensive before local government elections on 12 December, which are expected to become a vote of confidence in the four-month old minority government. The communists also criticized the revoking of the decree that gave Intersindical monopoly powers and allowed the formation of free trade unions.
Communists took a hard line at their congress last month, accusing the Socialist Party of capitulating to the right with its harsh austerity measures to help the struggling Portuguese economy. They have called for the Socialist minority administration to be replaced by a Socialist-Communist coalition.