Portugal workers strike for end to austerity

LISBON, Portugal -- Portugal's new Socialist government is facing its first strike, with one of the biggest public sector trade unions saying Wednesday its members will walk off the job to force a quicker rollback of austerity measures.

See Full Article

The 24-hour strike Friday by the Common Front, an umbrella organization that represents about half the country's more than 600,000 government workers, is likely to cause disruption at schools, hospitals, courts and other public services.

The centre-left minority government, backed by the Communist Party and radical Left Bloc, is restoring labour entitlements lost after Portugal's 78 billion-euro ($85 billion) bailout in 2011, even though national debt remains high.

The government has already approved a return to the civil servants' traditional 35-hour working week, down from the current 40 hours, but only from July. The Common Front says the change must be sooner.

The government is also restoring civil servants' pay that was cut, as well as bringing back four public holidays, increasing the lowest pensions and cutting tax for low-income families.

The government says the measures will trigger a rise in consumption that will fuel growth.

However, international ratings agencies, Portuguese fiscal supervisors and analysts have expressed concern that the government's economic expectations are too optimistic.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Tumbling oil prices continue to plague Alberta's bottom line: fiscal update

    Economic CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Tumbling oil prices are forcing Alberta to dip into its reserve fund to keep its $10.5-billion deficit from sliding further into the red. Finance Minister Joe Ceci says in his first-quarter fiscal update that the province had expected the benchmark oil price to average out at US$55 a barrel this year. Source
  • Whole Foods shareholders say yes to Amazon deal

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Whole Foods shareholders voted Wednesday to bless a US$13.7 billion union with Amazon that the organic grocery chain's CEO had called "love at first sight." That approval is one step required to close the deal, which is a bold move into physical stores for Amazon and has the possibility of bringing big changes to the supermarket industry and how people order groceries online. Source
  • Air Canada's Montreal to Japan direct flight expected to generate economic returns

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Air Canada says it will introduce direct year-round service between Montreal and Tokyo which the business community and politicians expect will generate economic returns beyond tourism. The country's largest airline will operate year-round service starting next June to Narita airport. Source
  • Greenpeace accused of 'eco-terrorism' in lawsuit filed by Dakota Access pipeline developer

    Economic CBC News
    Energy Transfer Partners LP on Tuesday sued Greenpeace and other environmental groups, accusing them of launching an "eco-terrorism" campaign aimed at blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline, the center of months of opposition by Native American and green groups. Source
  • Twitter Canada searching for new director after Rory Capern abruptly steps down

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The managing director of Twitter Canada has unexpectedly stepped down a year and a half after taking on the job. Rory Capern said on Twitter that he was grateful for the chance to lead the division and was looking forward to what's next, without saying what that might be. Source
  • Realtors who break rules should face tougher penalty, says Ont. association

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The Ontario Real Estate Association says it's time for higher fines for real estate agents that break the rules. The association is proposing that the fines for salespeople who violate a code of ethics double to $50,000. Source
  • Banks help lift Toronto stock index as U.S. markets give up gains

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Shares of Canada's biggest banks and insurance companies are helping lift the Toronto stock market's main index today. The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 67.17 points to 15,052.13, after 90 minutes of trading. Source
  • Toronto wealth management firm Wealthsimple launches 'Halal' investing portfolio

    Economic Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — Robo-adviser Wealthsimple has launched a new investment portfolio for observant Muslims, a move the company says builds off its success targeting smaller, underserviced groups of investors. The Toronto-based wealth management firm says its Halal investing portfolio is designed for those adhering to Islamic laws that prohibit investing in certain companies and financial products. Source
  • Walmart partners with Google on voice-activated shopping

    Economic CBC News
    Google is partnering with Walmart to allow customers to order thousands of products from Walmart via their smartphones or other Google devices such as the Home speaker. (Walmart) Walmart is diving into voice-activated shopping. Source
  • Walmart teams up with Google to take on Amazon in fight for future of shopping

    Economic CBC News
    Google is partnering with Walmart to allow customers to order thousands of products from Walmart via their smartphones or other Google devices such as the Home speaker. (Walmart) Walmart is diving into voice-activated shopping. Source