Transport strikes hit Portugal in protest to austerity plan
Published Thursday, October 4, 2012 7:19AM EDT
LISBON, Portugal -- Transport strikes in Portugal have brought misery for thousands of commuters, and trade unions are vowing to step up their fight against the government's latest batch of austerity measures.
The centre-right government plans steep increases in income taxes next year to meet the financial targets demanded in return for last year's C78 billion ($100 billion) bailout.
They come after pay cuts and tax hikes this year have fueled growing discontent at a time of deep recession and record unemployment of 15.9 per cent.
Rail services were at a virtual standstill Thursday due to a strike by engineers. The Lisbon subway also closed during the morning rush-hour due to a walkout, while suburban bus services were also disrupted.
The General Confederation of Portuguese Workers plans a general strike against austerity Nov. 14.