Lisbon subway shuts again as workers reject private company

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Their battle appears lost but Lisbon subway workers have walked off the job for the eighth time this year in protest against the government’s decision to place the service in private hands.

The second strike in just over a week Friday closed services and came days after the center-right government announced Spain’s Grupo Avanza had won the bidding to run the Metropolitano de Lisboa.

The government says the deal will save it around 200 million euros ($224 million) and will help Portugal to climb out of a debt hole that forced it to request a 78 billion euro bailout in 2011.

The government says the concession agreement stipulates that ticket prices can rise only in line with inflation. Labor groups fear that spells layoffs and a loss of entitlements.

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