Portuguese workers have staged protest rallies in the capital Lisbon as the country is bracing for a new general strike against the government’s austerity measures.
Workers from Portugal’s largest union confederation, the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGTP), picketed at train and subway stations and waste collection hubs to show their opposition to job losses and unpopular spending cuts.
The protests came as the 24-hour strike is expected to hit transport and other public services across the European nation of 11 million on Thursday.
"This is a fight with dual responsibility. For those who enjoy rights and fight to keep them, and fight for those rights which can be used by future generations," said CGTP leader Armenio Carlos.
The union asked its members to take part in the walkout to voice their opposition to changes to labor laws that make it easier to fire workers, reduce holidays and cut layoff compensation.
Some European economies have introduced strict austerity plans to tackle their debt crises. The spending cuts have caused deep discontent among people in those countries.
Angel Gurria, secretary general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, said in a Thursday interview that the eurozone needs a bailout fund of at least 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) to prevent its debt crisis from expanding to other European states.