Workers of the Lisbon Municipal Mobility and Parking Company (EMEL) will carry out a 24-hour strike on Thursday to demand the resumption of negotiations on wage increases, a union source told the Lusa agency today.

"Given the lack of response to the scheduling of a meeting by the EMEL Board of Directors and the Lisbon City Hall, to meet, present and discuss a serious proposal for salary increases, the workers 'had no choice but to plan a new strike,' explained Lusa Orlando Gonçalves, of the Union of Commercial, Office and Service Workers of Portugal (CESP).

The trade unionist recalled that 15 days ago, the workers met in plenary session in front of the town hall of Lisbon and that they transmitted to the mayor, Carlos Moedas (PSD), their demands and their intention to resume negotiations.

“At the time, President Carlos Moedas said he was unaware of what was happening. We thought it was strange, but we have already sent all the documentation and after 15 days there is still no response,” he pointed out.

According to Orlando Gonçalves, the management of EMEL has managed to reach an agreement with the Union of Service Sector Workers (SITESE) for a salary increase of 25 euros, a value rejected by the CESP, which wants an increase of 90 euros.

“We consider that the proposed increase is insufficient. EMEL is able to give workers better raises. This year, in terms of revenue, they will reach pre-pandemic values ​​(2019). The option was not to value the workers,” he argued.

In a written response sent to Lusa, an EMEL source assured that the company "has made an effort to meet the demands of the unions representing the workers" and referred to the agreement reached with SITESE, which led to an increase of 25 euros for all workers and "to 5% of the shift work allowance for workers who work 24 hours".

“It should be noted that the EMEL started these negotiations with the unions with a proposal for an initial increase of 15 euros across the board, after having closed the negotiations with obtaining the agreement of the SITESE for an increase of 25 euros, in the manner already explained. Unfortunately, the CESP did not sign the agreement,” points out the company.

The note also mentions that EMEL's activity "has been affected over the past two years, with significant losses resulting from the cessation of activity", a situation which "forced the transfer of funds from the municipality" to the company.

In turn, also in a response sent to Lusa, a Lisbon City Hall source said that the executive "believes that the negotiations between the EMEL administration and the workers' representatives must continue, in order to reach an agreement which meets all the requirements. parties, regardless of the union concerned”.

"Despite the difficult economic times, EMEL has responded to the wishes of the company's approximately 700 employees", underlines the note from the Lisbon Chamber.

EMEL workers had gone on a 24-hour strike on May 6, with membership around 90%, according to the unions, and less than 30%, according to the company.

AEC (MP) // MCL