EFE/Lusa.- The Government of Portugal has intervened on Monday the strike of truck drivers and has been mobilizing military and security agents to drive tanker trucks with fuel after you see that you have not met the minimum service on the first day of the strike.
The decision has been taken in the extraordinary Council of Ministers at the end of the afternoon, in which it has been agreed to intervene only in the areas where they are not complying with the minimum: the provision in the south of the country, the airports, the network of posts in emergency supply and the autonomous units of natural gas.
The intervention of the strike will be through the so-called ‘requisition civilian’, an instrument limit for the Executive, which will allow you to force legally to work of the strikers that are necessary to ensure basic services, including prison sentences if they refuse. The measure also allows you to mobilize members of the Armed Forces.
The Prime Minister of Portugal, the socialist António Costa, already had announced hours before that had been mobilized agents of police and the National Republican Guard -body security of a military nature- to transport fuel.
In statements to the press after meeting with the President of Portugal, the conservative Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Costa has explained that they have observed “a new reality” during the afternoon local, which have no longer met essential supplies.
The possibility to intervene in the strike has been around since the beginning of the day, when the spokesman of the carriers, Pedro Pardal Henriques, promised to the non-compliance of minimum services, the red line, I knew, would trigger the intervention.
This promise, made by the “sabotage” which claimed to have suffered in the first deals of the day, was quickly picked up by the sector’s employers ‘ organisation, Antram, who has requested with the character “urgent” legal intervention on the part of the Government.
The strike leaves more than 500 petrol stations in the country stocked out, which represented 17% of the national network. The forecasts have been confirmed and the biggest problems are concentrated in the tourist region of the Algarve (south of the country) and along the coastline of Portuguese, with the greatest number in August during summer holiday. Apart from these incidents, the situation is normal in large measure by the high minimum services set by the Government, of between 50 and 100%.
Eager to avoid the chaos that lived in Portugal during the previous strike of truck drivers last April, when the planes had to refuel in Spain and arreciaron the criticism for lack of foresight, the Prime Minister has shown a prudence that aims to emphasize his control to just two months from the election. So it has been interpreted to set a minimum service of 100% for airports, ports, security services, fire and emergency medical, of 75% for public transport and 50% for the supply of fuel to private individuals.
His protest is an indefinite, so that, if it is not desconvocada, the situation of emergency energy that is governed in Portugal will be extended at least until the 21st of August, as decreed by the Executive.
Non-compliance of the requisition to the civil
Drivers who do not comply with the requisition civil incur a crime of disobedience, punishable with a prison term of up to two years or a fine of up to 240 days, and dismissal with just cause, according to lawyers consulted by the news agency Lusa.
According to the lawyer of employment law Luís Gonçalves da Silva the application of civil “means that people are available to the State, that is to say, are required and the employment relationship is between the worker and the State.” The offence for disobedience must be “conminarse in the event of the requisition civil”, which means that the workers must be warned that failure to do so could lead to a punishment of a criminal, ” said Gonçalves da Silva.
In the case of a fine, the amount and period of time vary according to the economic possibilities of the worker, ranging from five euro to 500 euro per day. The lawyer Inês Arruda, an expert in labour law, also says that the crime of disobedience can be applied in case of non-compliance of the requisition to the civil and workers should be warned, even though he believes that “it is not necessary to express in the ordinance” of the Government.
Inês Arruda also explained that the criminal process begins with a complaint that can pass from the entrepreneur to the responsible entity (the Government or other designated entity) and then to the Service of the Prosecutor’s office and finally up to the judge to decide if it is a simple disobedience or qualified.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister António Costa emphasized that violating search civil “constitutes a crime of disobedience” and has legal consequences under the criminal code. Also yesterday, at a press conference after the Council of Ministers decided to pass the requisition to the civil, the Secretary of State of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Tiago Antunes, emphasized that, in addition to disciplinary sanctions, the law provides for the “crime of disobedience” in these situations.