The General Secretary of the Communist-backed CGTP trade union confederation on Sunday demanded measures to control prices and increase the minimum wage to €800 per month in July.
“We do not accept that the employers and the government use the mumbo-jumbo that wage increases cause spiralling inflation,” Isabel Camarinha told thousands of people gathered after participating in the CGTP’s 1 May parade in Lisbon.
The government should take “effective measures on price control,” demanding “an extraordinary increase of the national minimum wage, setting it at €800 as of 1 July 2022,” said Camarinha. She also called for an increase in pensions “of at least €20” and, again, demanded a €90 salary increase for all workers this year.
“On the back of the pandemic and sanctions, an operation is underway that aims to accentuate exploitation,” she said, adding that the draft State Budget for 2022 “bypasses the difficulties of workers.”
Thousands of people gathered in Martim Moniz, in Lisbon, at around 2:30 pm and walked to Alameda as part of the CGTP’s 1 May celebrations.
The General Secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party welcomed the “impressive 1 May” that was marked throughout the country.
“This great demonstration is for work and workers, the fundamental issue of valorising salaries and pensions, health professionals, public schools and small and medium entrepreneurs,” said Jerónimo de Sousa
Jerónimo de Sousa said that “in addition to the pandemic, the sanctions, the war” it is “the price increases, including in the food plan, that worry the Portuguese.”
Prime Minister António Costa marked the celebrations of Labour Day, stressing that the government would adopt the Decent Work Agenda and “pursue the goal of strengthening the weight of wages in GDP” to the European average.
“We celebrate Labour Day today. Because we value work and aspire to a fairer society, we will adopt the Decent Work Agenda and pursue the goal of increasing the weight of wages in GDP to the European average,” said Costa on Twitter.
The prime minister also presented a table on Twitter that showed the weight of wages in GDP grew 17.5% from 2016 to 2021 – the years in which he led the country’s government – and promised 20% growth from 2022 to 2026.
In response, opposition leader Rui Rio accused the ruling Socialist Party of not having recovered the country from the “fall caused by the bankruptcy that trashed Portugal.”