On December 17, Thursday, workers at the Lousado plant of Leica, a German multinational optical instruments and apparatus manufacturer, in Portugal organized an agitation for a salary hike and to protest against the anti-worker policies of the management. The call for mobilization was given by the Northern Manufacturing Industries Union (SITE Norte). The union accused Leica management of constantly challenging the freedom of the union by hindering any activity by the union within the company and intimidating its leaders and delegates.
Esquerda.net reported that during the protest, the union demanded a minimum salary increase of 90 Euros (110.42 USD) for all workers, an end to wage discrimination and the valorization of professional categories, the end of harassment policy and respect for the collective labor contract.
In its statement, SITE Norte said that “over the past few years, the Leica administration’s policy has been of devaluing wages of qualified workers and of wage discrimination between workers who are performing the same functions and with wage differences exceeding 100 Euros (122.69 USD).”
“Leica’s management’s attitude is that of moral harassment. Whenever a worker has raised their voice against the injustices meted out by the company, through the union or otherwise, they… begin to diminish and denigrate workers who have given them their best so that Leica continues to be a successful company,” added SITE Norte.
The General Confederation of the Portuguese Workers (CGTP) has expressed solidarity and support to the workers protest at Leica in Lousado. The cadres of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) were also present at the protest in solidarity with the workers.