A strike is, in accordance with the Portuguese Constitution, a employee’s inalienable right.
The decision to strike is, usually, made by Unions.
Nevertheless, the employees’ assemblies may decide to strike, as long as:
(a) The majority of employees in the company are not represented by Unions;
(b) The assembly is expressly convened for such purpose by 20% or 200 employees;
(c) Majority of the company’s employees participate in the assembly;
(d) The decision to strike is approved by the majority of voters.
The strike shall be communicated to the employer with a minimum prior notice of 5 business days. In companies or establishments destined to the satisfaction of indispensable social needs, the strike prior notice period is, at least, 10 business days.
During a strike, the employer may not replace the strikers with other people who weren’t working in the establishment or department at the time of the notice.
In a similar fashion, the employer cannot hire an undertaking to perform the striking employees’ tasks, unless for the satisfaction of indispensable social needs that have not been guaranteed or for services necessary for the safety and maintenance of the equipment and premises and only in the amount strictly necessary to said services.
The strike suspends, for those to the employees that join it, the labour contract, namely the right to salary and, as a result, releases the employees from the duty to accept orders and attend work.
A strike ends with an agreement between the parties by deliberation of the entity that declared it, or at the end of the period for which it was called.
Employees may not be coerced, harmed, or discriminated for having gone on strike, or not.
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