Public sector workers in Portugal have gone on strike to protest the government's continued austerity measures, disrupting the country's transport network.

The strike, called by the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGTP), also resulted in some schools being closed and hospitals working with reduced staff, the BBC reported.

But the turnout was patchy and far less than anticipated according to reports, with little impact outside of the transport sector.

CGTP, the country's largest union with 700,000 members, wanted to demonstrate against EU-mandated labor market reforms enacted by Portugal's center-right government last May in exchange for a €78 billion ($103 billion) EU/IMF bailout.

We have to keep staging strikes, struggling. These policies do not resolve anything, we are on the same path as Greece, said Pedro Ramos, 38, and a union coordinator who works for a state waste management company, according to Reuters.

Portugal is just under 12 months into a three-year program of tax hikes and welfare cuts, aimed at improving the country's dire economic situation and crippling public debts.

Public sector workers have also seen their Christmas and vacation bonuses - equivalent to a month's salary - removed as part of the austerity package.

So far, Portugal has avoided the sort of violent protests that have crippled Greece, with the country winning praise from the EU for sticking to the terms of the bailout.

Government spokesman Luis Marques Guedes said the walkout won't help our country's situation, it'll just worsen it, the Associated Press reported.

We have the feeling that the great majority of Portuguese agrees with the government on this, he told reporters after a weekly Cabinet meeting.

Unlike previous strikes, the CGTP were not joined by the country's second biggest union, the more moderate General Workers Union (UGT).

According to reports, the strike was one of the least effective in recent memory; with many who are struggling not wanting to lose a day's pay.

They go on strike and hurt us, said 53-year-old cleaning lady Ana Maria Verissimo, Reuters reported

 This won't resolve anything. They'll have to find another way. If I go on strike, my pay check will be lower at the end of the month.