The Union of Judicial Employees (SFJ) accused this Monday the Deputy Director General of the Administration of Justice of “inciting” the services to commit illegalities, with an order for marking absences to workers in service, only on strike to certain diligences .
Speaking to Lusa, the president of the SFJ, António Marçal, said that the union has not yet counted “the exact number” of employees “subject to an illegal marking of fouls” based on an order – which the SFJ is aware of only through an email sent to the services, even though it has already officially requested access to the dispatch – which, the union defends, represents “an incitement to a criminal attitude”.
“In practice, it consists of falsifying an authentic document. That is, the workers are in the workplace, they are working, they are carrying out duties, but when they declare themselves on strike for acts of an accounting nature, the judge by law who is currently serving as Deputy Director [Ana Cáceres] ordered an illegality to be committed and a foul to be recorded”, explained António Marçal.
The SFJ has already asked the Directorate-General for the Administration of Justice (DGAJ) to correct the situation and has already alerted the Deputy Secretary of State and Justice, Jorge Alves Costa, who asked for “intervention”, as it is “ultimately, responsible for this situation of illegality and incitement that is being made to commit criminal activities within the courts”, having received a response from the guardianship that the matter is being analyzed.
“This is too serious for the Secretary of State not to have an energetic and timely reaction as required”, said António Marçal.
If there are no answers by Wednesday, the SFJ will also go to court with actions against “the material perpetrators” of marking fouls, that is, the people in the services responsible for that task because they are “themselves committing a crime, falsifying an authentic document which is the attendance record”, advising the services to ask the DGAJ for clarification.
“This intimidation maneuver will not have any effect, on the contrary, the workers are increasingly angry with this situation, they are joining the strike. We have a margin for growth. 98% of the locals adhered”, said the president of the SFJ, who on the first day of the strike pointed out a adherence of around 70%.
António Marçal said that the “measures of intimidation, coercion, illegality and incitement to the practice of criminal activities” are having the support of the director-general of the Administration of Justice, judge Isabel Namora, and the deputy director-general Ana Cáceres, and added that if there are doubts about the legality of the strike, they must be clarified by the courts, and “an administrative entity cannot replace” them in that role.
“That is not the role of political appointees. […] This is dangerous at a time when we are about to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 25th of April. The state we are reaching is starting to be very worrying and it is important that the Government is aware of what is happening by people appointed by this Government and who are jeopardizing the democratic rule of law”, said António Marçal.
On the balance of the strike, the president of the SFJ said that this Monday the union estimates a global membership of 98%, with some services joining 100%, and says that more than 500 diligences were postponed just today, this accounting being in the order of “large thousands” since the beginning of the strike.
It would take two months to recover all the diligences already postponed, according to estimates by the SFJ, which remains open to negotiating with the Government, but which admits to suspending the strike only if the guardianship commits to the immediate adoption of a set of measures presented by the union as priorities, which guarantees, from the outset, “the pacification” of the judicial system necessary to ensure the negotiation of the Statute of Judicial Employees, scheduled to start in March, “in an atmosphere of social peace”.
The SFJ called for a strike between 00:00 on 15 February and 24:00 on 15 March, for which minimum services were defined.
Among the main demands are the filling of vacant positions in the career of bailiffs, the opening of procedures for access to all career categories, the integration of the procedural recovery supplement at maturity, the inclusion in a special retirement regime and access to the pre-retirement regime and review of professional status.
When the notice was given, in January, the president of the SFJ admitted to extending the strike until April, if nothing was done by the MJ.