Autoeuropa could suspend VW car production in Portugal

 In Companies

Staff at Portugal’s biggest car plant Autoeuropa may have to down tools for several days over an industria dispute involving dockworkers.The ongoing strike at the Port of Setúbal over wages, conditions and working hours has meant that thousands of new Volkswagen vehicles ready for export have been parked idly at the docks with no way of loading them onto ships.

However, representatives of dock workers who have been on strike since 5 November over contract disputes claim to have reached an agreement with port operators for the integration of 56 workers at the Port of Setúbal.

The Portuguese Minister for the Sea Ana Paula Vitorino was scheduled to make an announcement on the strike situation on Friday morning at the time of publishing this article.

An Autoeuropa worker told the news agency Lusa, “Tomorrow (Friday) we’re working at least one shift in the morning and afternoon but we don’t know anymore than that.”

The source continued, “What we do know is that thousands of vehicles are parked up at Montijo Air Base and the Auroeuropa car park at the Port of Setúbal is completely full.”

The situation involving the port workers’ industrial dispute has been dragging on since the summer and a Portuguese government mediator is trying to resolve the conflict between the port companies and the dockworkers’ union but no agreement has been reached and the Port of Setúbal is completely paralysed.

The Autoeuropa plant at Palmela, outside Lisbon produces 800 vehicles per day and has 20,000 vehicles parked up at Montijo Air Base and the Port of Setúbal.

The dockworkers have refused to work since 5 November and are demanding a collective work contract.