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February 26, 2014
February 26, 2014

Portugal: Press Release of the Informal Workers Commission of Health Line 24

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Portugal: Press Release of the Informal Workers Commission of Health Line 24

*Informal Workers Commission of Health Line 24


The news we received yesterday, through the media, is a resolution by the Labour Watchdog that confirms the reality that we have always denounced in Linha de Saúde 24 [1]: a private concessionaire that operated and operates outside the confines of law and against its employees. This resolution demands that all 150 workers that were fired a month ago must be reinstated and must have the right to have work contracts.

We will wait for the report to be published, which we hope will happen soon. Nonetheless, it’s already possible to state that this decision is a victory of legality against impunity and retaliation. We hope that this is the beginning of a new phase, in which the abuse of those providing Linha de Saúde 24 on a daily basis is finished. With this decision, in front of the evidence, the Linha de Saúde 24 has still a chance to repair the situation and recognise the rights that have been missing for several years. In accordance with the law nº 63/2013, the company will be notified to sign labour contracts, which is expected to happen soon.

This victory goes well beyond Linha Saúde 24, which shows that, despite the arbitrariness, illegality and strength of an unscrupulous employer, it is possible for workers, no matter how precarious their labour situation is, to claim their rights and see their right to employment recognised, in this case with labour contracts.

It’s a historical victory for us nurses who work in Linha Saúde 24, but also for all those who, for many years, have been fighting against precarity, unemployment and fake green receipts. That’s why in this moment of justice, we cannot forget the thousands who have supported us, on an individual and collective, national and international basis. We would like to especially mention the Associação de Combate à Precariedade- Precários Inflexíveis (Association to Fight against Precarity) as our major support. This association, which is comprised by precarious workers for precarious workers, has been by our side from the beginning, during the moments of struggle, under the hardest and most adverse conditions, with serenity, knowledge, determination and insurmountable support. This victory is also theirs. We wish them the best!

The Informal Workers Commission of Saúde 24 awaits the official report of the Watchdog for Labour Conditions, considering that the company Linha de Cuidados de Saúde S.A must reinstate all 150 nurses that had been illegally fired, as well as abide by law, signing labour contracts for all 400 nurses that have worked in the line for fake green receipts, for several years now.

[1] Linha de Saúde 24: 24 hour medical advice phone service.

[2] Fake Green Receipts: illegal and precarious employment tactic used by companies and the state in order to classify workers as service providers and not integrated workers, and therefore not having labour rights.

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