Dock strike affects food supplies

Madeira running out of essential goods

Continente in Sao Martinho where food supplies are running shortThe strike at ports on the continent is having vast effects on the regional economy, but the one that is most felt is the lack of essential goods, particularly food supplies.

The Diario reports that, in one of the largest commercial areas in Madeira, the Continente at São Martinho, the shelves of meat, more precisely beef, pork, national chicken and turkey are largely empty. In addition, canned and dairy products are scarce and they describe prices are becoming ‘prohibitive’ for most consumers. For example, a kilo of beef mince was €10.99, or veal up to as much as €12.99/kilo

In this particular establishment, in the middle of Saturday afternoon, there was no meat other than whole regional chicken. In chilled meats there was little choice, and pork, being one of the most sought after meats, was sold out.

This situation was expected to happen, since the containers that are arriving in Madeira in the boats do not even come full. For example, last Monday the ship ‘Funchalense 5’ came from Lisbon to Porto do Caniçal with just over half of its occupied capacity.

As far as the Diario has been able to ascertain, a container ship, the ‘Rebecca S’, was expected to arrive yesterday, coming from Porto Santo where it was also calling. But, the truth, the newspaper says, none of this is confirmed or guaranteed.

To make matters worse, there is a threat of further stoppages, with not even the “minimum guaranteed services” level of supply of container ships guaranteed.

8 thoughts on “Dock strike affects food supplies”

  1. My understanding is that legislation is in place to limit the effects of strike action on the peripheral regions of Portugal including Madeira. This also applies to flights from the mainland, which cannot be completely canceled in the event of industrial action. Surely the law should trip in automatically to guarantee essential supplies, and striking dockers would be “forced” to load these containers?

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  2. You are quite correct Phil. Already one of the political parties in the Region- the CDS -has urged the Government of the Republic to intercede with the national unions “in order to fulfill the minimum services for Madeira” in the dockers’ strike, “in order to minimize the effects that are already felt in supermarkets with the lack of essential products for the population”.

    Through a statement reported in the Diario, the party spokesman said that “the strike at ports in the continent is causing enormous damage to the regional economy, and it is certain that the minimum services, constitutionally provided for in the Autonomous Region of Madeira, are not being met”. He adds that “ships are arriving late that do not even come with full cargo”. Because of this, “there is already a lack of essential goods in supermarkets in Madeira and Porto Santo, namely fresh, dairy, canned goods, among others”. A situation that makes the CDS-PP uneasy, as there are threats of further stoppages and there is no guarantee that minimum services will be fulfilled.

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  3. Reminds me of the days when SA supermarket was running low on food. I remarked to someone look for the butchers sign. Butchers Surprise. If you see any meat that the surprise. They did see the funny side of it. Again no meat was the moan

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  4. It was already stated earlier this week on the RTP website that the shipments temporarily will take place from another, much smaller harbor, that doesn’t seem to be hit by strikes (yet). However, there were still 20 containers waiting to be shipped on the shore in Lisbon when that decision was taken, and it just takes time to move those containers to their new departure spot. If you are in desperate need for meat, I’ve hear that Super São Roque in Funchal and Novo Super in Caniço still have plenty.

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  5. Without getting embroiled in the politics of strike action and whether essential minimum services are being maintained during this action, surely this is another reason why a mainland ferry link should be a priority, as island economies need connectivity not just in terms of people and tourists but also supplies for everyday living.
    Supermarket trucks don’t need dockers to drive onto a RoRo ferry !!

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  6. SA supermarket used to use RoRo ferry till it closed. As a local said to me living on a island when things going well its heaven. When things are not going well it hell. You get used to it. lease the island not as bad as it was.

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  7. Madeira island not the only one effected with food shortage. NW islands of the Azores they been effected by the hurricane and they have a shortage of goods and transport including ferries.

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