Lisbon commuters struggled to get to work as metro workers in the Portuguese capital staged a 24-hour strike. As Sonia Legg reports workers are protesting against the privatisation of the company.
They were the euro zone's poster boy implementing strike reforms with a little less fuss than some others. But four months after Portugal exited its 78-billion-euro bailout it's still feeling the pain of austerity - a 24 hour strike by Metro workers over privatisation plans crippling the capital (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) COMMUTER, ARMANDA, SAYING: "I don't agree with the strike because I'm tired of strikes." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) COMMUTER, JESUS , SAYING: "I have to get up earlier and take the bus that is full of people, arriving later to work, so this complicates things a bit." Portugal exited without a precautionary credit line as it returned to growth. And the government has continued to implement budgetary controls and growth-enhancing reforms. It says it's seeking stable employment. But transport unions have had enough. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) TRANSPORTS UNION REPRESENTATIVE, ANABELA CARVALHEIRA, SAYING: "It's true that metro commuters are being harmed but our intention is the opposite. We are defending the company for our clients and I think they should be revolting against the government because they are causing this." The workers are also after better working conditions. After years of austerity they say it's pay back time.