There were two types of stevedores employed by the ETP and OPM: the full time workers who belonged to the trade unions and the temporary workers, whose pay was inferior and who did not enjoy the same rights and privileges. Trade Union filiation was restricted. Although the temporary workers were taken on with daily contracts, they were in fact indispensible to the functioning of the ports, given also that many of the unionized workers were often on sick leave.
In June 2001, some of the temporary workers publicly denounced that they were being hired to work for the ETP at the private residence of David Pedra, the trade union representative in the ETP, at the house of his daughter, Cristina Pedra, who also worked for the ETP, and at the installations of the OPM. Their work consisted in painting and repairing installations and even menial household chores such as waiting at table and mowing the lawn. They claimed they were being paid by the ETP (of which the Government was a shareholder) to work for the private benefit of the Pedra family and others.
Confronted by the Diário, David Pedra peremptorily denied that this work was being paid by the ETP. He claimed he was being victim of persecution. The following day, Luis Miguel Sousa, boss of the OPM maintained that no port workers had been used for other purposes outside the port and threatened a libel suit.
The Police investigation confirmed the denunciations of the temporary workers. Further, it was shown that the workers had been paid for the ETP for private use and that David Pedra, after the denunciations had become public had passed a cheque to the ETP to cover the use of the temporary workers at his home and that of his daughter and others. The debit notes for this work were numbered sequentially and on the bottom left hand side had the designation “AGMOP/RAM” an entity which had ceased to exist in 1994, six years previously.