TAP Air Portugal cabin crew workers, represented by the National Civil Aviation Flight Personnel Union (SNPVAC), advanced this Thursday a strike notice for December 8 and 9.
The workers’ action, supported by the airliner pilots, is in response to a proposed new workers’ contract presented by the carrier.
According to the notice, the workers demand the replacement of lost salaries and benefits resulting from the current company’s restructuring.
The notice also claims the “lack of respect that TAP has shown towards the crew” and the “more than questionable management decisions that end up having a direct and indirect impact” on the lives of its workers.
The strike action was announced the day after Chief Executive Officer, Christine Ourmieres-Widener, warned that a strike at this time would be a disaster for the company.
This pronouncement was followed by a statement by Ricardo Penarróias, president of the National Civil Aviation Flight Personnel Union, pointing out that crew members feel marginalized in the context of TAP’s restructuring plan and demand compensation for the sacrifices made during the last two years, resulting in profits for TAP “at the expense of the crew workers.”
The workers’ action followed TAP disclosing its third quarter returns, showing profits of € 111 million (USD$110 million) between July and September 2022.
The Portuguese airline posted on Wednesday the rare net profit against a loss of €134.5 million reported the past year.
TAP, which had reported a hefty €1.6-billion-euro loss during the Covid’19 crisis, transported 5.83 million passengers last year, up 25% over 2020, but only 34% of the pre-pandemic level in 2019.
The Portuguese air carrier, which is 72.5% state owned, is in the process of privatization while restructuring its operations under a Brussels-approved € 3.2-billion rescue plan.
The restructuring includes downsizing its fleet, cutting about 2,900 jobs and reducing wages of most workers by 25%.
TAP Air Portugal currently offers more than 1,230 flights per week on its network of destinations, which includes seven airports in Portugal, 10 in North America, 12 in Central and South America, 20 in Africa and the Middle East and 44 in Europe.
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