Comboios de Portugal – CP anticipates disturbances in circulation due to the strike called by the National Union of Drivers of Portuguese Railways (SMAQ), predicting a “special impact” on Friday, despite the minimum services enacted.
“We inform you that, due to a strike called for the period between 00:00 on March 10, 2023 and 23:59 on March 17, 2023, disturbances in circulation are expected, with a special impact on March 10 [sexta-feira]for which minimum services have been decreed”, indicates CP, in a note sent to customers.
The company explains that, between Saturday and Friday of next week, it is planned to “carry out most of the regular services”, warning, however, that “some trains may be suppressed”.
Regretting the “inconvenience caused”, CP makes available on its website a list of trains scheduled both for this Friday and for the following days, adding that customers who have already purchased tickets to travel on the Alfa Pendular, Intercidades, International, InterRegional and Regional may request a refund of the total amount or a free change to another train of the same category and in the same class.
These refunds must be made through the CP customer page (for tickets purchased ‘online’ or through the mobile application) up to 15 minutes before the departure of the train from the station of origin or at the ticket offices.
CP train drivers have called for a new 24-hour strike for next Friday, with minimum services of around 30% nationwide having been decreed, the union said.
Speaking to Lusa, António Domingues, from SMAQ explained that professionals decided to call for a total stoppage on March 10, with the arbitration court decreeing 30% of minimum services.
Even so, “there will be constraints on the 9th and 11th of March due to the strike on the 10th”, and this will result in suppressed trains, but the impact “will be reduced”. The decision of the arbitral tribunal also provides for some minimum service trains on those days.
After that, and until the 18th of March, the drivers will not carry out services that last more than 7.30 hours, which will not have a high impact, but should lead to some suppressions, highlighted the union leader.
The arbitral tribunal also decreed minimum services as necessary for the safety and maintenance of equipment and installations, as well as emergency services and rescue trains.
The SMAQ strike maintains the foundations of the February stoppages, with train drivers contesting the salary increases proposed by CP and specific issues of their professional category, such as working conditions and compliance with the company agreement.
In February, strikes called by several CP unions led to the suppression of hundreds of trains a day.