In short, this was a strike that involved both public and private sectors, and almost all professional categories, in a country with one million precarious workers, threatened of loosing the job if joining the strike.
The political moment of the strike is also very important. We are in the eve of the 2011 budget vote in parliament (Nov 26th), that goes deeper in cutting social expenses like the support for the unemployed and the families with small children, that cuts salaries in public sector and adds recession to an economy already in crisis. The budget will pass with the votes of both central parties (PS and PSD) with the support of Cavaco Silva, already in campaign for his presidential reelection in January 23rd.
For the left, this was an opportunity to make the workers show their voice to the omnipresent speech in the media that promotes "budget austerity" and "making sacrifices" as the inevitable answers for "chilling down the markets". In this struggle against the politics of fear, the workers are still on the defensive, but the general strike helped to get more confidence and combativity.