SEF inspectors call off strikes at airports in Faro, Lisbon, Porto and Madeira

SIIFF president Renato Mendonça revealed

The strikes by the inspectors of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) planned for the airports of Faro, Lisbon, Porto and Madeira were unmarked today, revealed the Union of Investigation, Inspection and Borders Inspectors (SIIFF).

"We have just called off and lifted the [strike] notices," SIIFF president Renato Mendonça told Lusa.

For the union, with the promulgation of diplomas regarding the transition of personnel and the creation of APMMA [Portuguese Agency for Minorities, Migrations and Asylum, meanwhile renamed to AIMA – Agency for Integration, Migrations and Asylum], which also establishes the horizon of 29 October for the transition, «the fundamentals that were foreseen in the notice of strike» are emptied.

In question were the scheduled stoppages at Humberto Delgado airport, in Lisbon, between 5:00 am and 10:00 am on the days of 27 to 29 May, 3 to 5 June, 10 to 12 June, 17 to 19 June and from the 24th to the 26th of June.

At the remaining airports and border posts, namely maritime ones, the strike would take place on the 22nd and 29th of May and the 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th of June.

“Regardless of whether [the SEF extinction diploma] was enacted, it fell far short of what we understood would be the safeguard of our rights. There are some matters that do not meet the safeguard of those same rights, namely with questions of seniority and some discretion in the application of certain matters that are not common to all career categories», he added.

In the first stoppage, between the 20th and 22nd of this month, adherence to the strike was between 90 and 100%, according to figures reported by SIIFF to Lusa.

On Wednesday, the President of the Republic promulgated the Government diplomas – approved by the Council of Ministers on April 6 – on the replacement of the SEF and the transitional regime for the respective workers, foreseeing difficulties in the initial phase of the new agency.

In a note published on the official website of the Presidency of the Republic on the Internet, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa stated that he opted for the enactment of these diplomas «despite the difficulties that the Agency will have to manage - in this initial phase - the residence permit processes currently pending» .

However, Renato Mendonça stressed that the enactment of the diploma does not prevent the SIIFF from having material to "continue to work and try to improve situations, again alerting the appropriate bodies so that these same gaps can be filled" and that all rights can be be properly recognized.

The extinction of the SEF will take place in October, according to the announcement made this Thursday by the Minister of Internal Administration, José Luís Carneiro, who assured that there will be a transition period for the implementation of this reform.

As part of the extinction of the SEF, administrative functions will pass to AIMA and the Institute of Registration and Notary (IRN), while police powers will go to the Public Security Police, National Republican Guard and Judiciary Police.