Source of this photograph : http://www.portosdeportugal.pt/sartigo/index.php?x=5945
The Portuguese Government is planning to privatize the Estaleiros Navais de Viana do Castelo (ENVC) shipyard, in favour of Martifer Energy Systems. Martifer is a company that has a bigger debt than the ENVC, and has no history of activity in an area that requires a high level of initial investment, and enormous technical and scientific complexity along with strong organizational skills.
The details of this privatization deal are as yet unclear, and there are concerns that it may prove to be extremely harmful to the Portuguese state. The deal signifies the closure of the only specialized shipbuilding yard in Portugal, and the loss of a large number of highly skilled workers.
The Portuguese shipbuilding industry is a strategic sector whose value cannot be restricted to mere financial calculations, ignoring their economic potential in equipping the navy, security and environment, in freight rates and currencies, stimulating economic activities upstream and downstream, and securing jobs.
The 600 workers of ENVC, experienced in an industry that requires a high degree of scientific and technical expertise, will all be made redundant on Christmas Eve, further adding to the already dramatic unemployment situation not just in Portugal and Europe, but globally.
We offer our solidarity to the shipyard workers, their representative organizations, the population of Viana do Castelo and the Portuguese people, in their struggle against what could be a strong blow to their economic and social development.