Portugal is traditionally a leftist country. Since the Carnation Revolution in 1974, in which the Left threw out the fascist government of Marcelo Caetano, it is fashionable in Portugal to be leftist and being labeled socialist. If a proof was needed, in the 2011 elections, all 6 parties in parliament claimed to be leftist parties, and all the three parties who signed the Troika memorandum (yes, the ones who signed it were: PS, PSD and CDS/PP) have Social or Socialist in its very name.
The UK post office Royal Mail is at least as fervent adept to strikes as the French Poste office. The Unions chose the open clash with the managers, rather than to follow the privatization plan. It is true that the privatization of Royal Mail would compromise a lot of the “traditions” in the company. For example, in the beginning of the decade 10 000 of the 170 000 employees were missing every working day, without any valuable reason. The cost of this absenteeism was 350 mln. of pounds per year.