Portuguese ports, refineries hit by strikes

Sep 17, 2012, 12:01 PM EDT
Portuguese workers of the Galp Energia's refinery form a picket line during the first of a 3-day strike over pay, health insurance and working conditions in Matosinhos, outskirts of Porto, Portugal, Monday, Sept. 17, 2012.
AP Photo/Paulo Duarte

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portuguese ports are mostly at a standstill and work at refineries is being disrupted due to strikes, but officials do not expect major supply shortages.

Dozens of trucks queued at Lisbon's cargo terminal, the country's biggest, as harbor pilots began a 48-hour national strike Monday over a cut in staffing levels which their unions say compromises safety.

The Institute for Ports and Maritime Transport, which oversees the sector, said many vessels rescheduled deliveries to avoid the stoppage.

Stevedores and ports' administrative staff are due to walk off the job later this week.

Galp Energia SGPS, S.A., the national energy company which owns the refineries hit by the strikes, said some operations were affected. Employees have started a three-day strike to protest a loss of labor rights, including job security.