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Stevedores in Portugal end strike, unblocking Volkswagen car shipments

Staff Writer |
Striking stevedores at the Portuguese port of Setubal and the port administration reached a deal on Friday to end a strike that started 40 days ago and has blocked shipments of over 20,000 cars from a Volkswagen plant nearby.

"Loadings can start today if there are ships ready," said Renato Teixeira, a spokesman for the SEAL union, explaining that the government-brokered deal involved contracts for dozens of stevedores who previously had precarious conditions, usually hired for just a day's work.

The Volkswagen Autoeuropa plant near Lisbon is Portugal's single largest exporter. It makes more than 880 cars per day, including the new T-Roc SUV.

Volkswagen Autoeuropa has said no alternative shipping route is capable of handling its production volume.

Over 20,000 cars have piled up at the port, the plant and at a local airforce base which agreed to provide parking space to Volkswagen, as the strike forced the German manufacturer to cancel over 10 regular shipments.

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