Fuel tanker drivers continued their nationwide strike for a fourth consecutive day on Thursday, August 15, despite reported fuel shortages and government directives. The Independent Freight Drivers Union (SIMM) announced on Thursday that its members would end their industrial action, stating that the strike did produce the effects that they wanted. However, members of the National Hazardous Materials Drivers' Union (SNMMP) have not announced any intentions to end their indefinite strike. According to media reports, SNMMP and the National Association of Public Road Haulers (ANTRAM) have both rejected a mediation process proposed by the government.
The government-declared energy crisis will be in effect until at least 23:59 (local time) on Wednesday, August 21. Under the declaration, fuel rationing is in place nationwide and tanker drivers are required to provide minimum service to ports, hospitals, airports, and other priority areas. Public drivers are only allowed to fill a maximum of 15 liters (4 gallons) of petrol or diesel per visit at designated stations and 25 liters (6.6 gallons) at all other stations. According to media reports on August 15, 470 petrol stations out 2989 are without gasoline or diesel fuel. Fuel shortages and associated transportation disruptions are expected to continue for the duration of the strike.
Fuel tanker drivers decided to go on strike after negotiations for increased pay with the ANTRAM employer association failed. A previous strike was also launched on April 15, causing nationwide disruptions.
Individuals Portugal are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all public demonstrations as a precaution, and anticipate localized transportation and business disruptions, and a heightened security presence near all protest sites. In the event of fuel shortages, individuals are advised to fill up their vehicles whenever gasoline is available, to ensure sufficient fuel reserves before all long journeys, and to expect longer waiting times at gas stations.
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