Lisbon (AFP)

The Portuguese Union of Striking Fuel Tank Drivers on Wednesday urged its members to boycott the government's requisition to enforce a minimum supply service.

"Nobody will respect the minimum service or the requisition, the truckers will do nothing," the spokesman for the union, Pedro Pardal Henriques, told the media.

"To tell these people to go to work under the threat of being arrested is to put the country in danger, they are not criminals," he added.

Tuesday evening, the Minister of the Environment and Energy Transition, Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes had announced that proceedings had been opened against 14 drivers who did not comply with the requisition decreed Monday, at the end of the first day of strike.

The country's 800 or so fuel carriers are "tired of being threatened by their employers and by the government defending companies against workers," Pardal Henriques said.

The unionist called truckers to join a picket line near a major fuel depot in Aveiras de Cima, a suburb of Lisbon.

In the north of the country, near the depot of Leça da Palmeira, about fifty truck drivers were on another picket line and were trying to convince their colleagues to join the boycott, local media reported.

Although it imposed a minimum service, then requisitioned drivers strikers to enforce it, the government has also mobilized police, gendarmes and military to ensure fuel deliveries across the country.

The requisition was aimed in particular at avoiding fuel shortages at Lisbon airport and in the tourist region of the Algarve, in the south of the country.

© 2019 AFP