Airports strike on way – affecting 10 airports in Portugal, Madeira and Azores

“Every worker in every airport run by ANA/ Vinci” will be adhering to ‘minimum services’

Just as it threatened last month, SINTAC – the national syndicate of civil aviation workers – is pulling the plug on any kind of smooth working at Portugal’s airports between the days of August 19-21.

In a summer that has been marked by ‘flights’ chaos’ of all kinds, this is just another headache for passengers in the one month in the year that so many choose to take their holidays.

The strike, as SINTAC threatened, will affect all workers in all 10 airports run by ANA airports authority, a concession of the French airports group VINCI.

The beef is that SINTAC rejects ANA’s current employment conditions – which include a 30% reduction in salaries.

Negotiations up till now have hit a brick wall.

Tomorrow should see the union and management meeting to try and thrash out what is termed as ‘minimum services’ for the strike days – an agreement, in other words, of how much (or how little) will be done.

Said a source for the union: “SINTAC hopes that in addition to the definition of minimum services, the meeting will also lead to an understanding with the employer – ANA/ VINCI – that takes into account the proposals called for by this union”.

SINTAC wants “the reposition of all contributions, up until now, suspended for the workers’ Pension Fund – and it wants the airports’ manager to “stop trying to destroy rights obtained for the ANA workers over decades”.

This would mean, at best, altering the new business agreement accordingly –  or simply maintaining the ‘old’ one, in place since 2015.

SINTAC also wants “a decent salary increase for its workers, bearing in mind their results and inflation”, says the union – as well as “urgent measures” brought in to hire “human resources that are lacking, and to replace the bare minimum necessary to safeguard airport and work security”.

Essentially, what ANA is doing now is demanding “an inhuman overload on existing human resources”, says the union.

SINTAC’s position is shared by SQAC (the syndicate of commercial aviation personnel) which has denounced ANA’s management model as “blind” and perpetuating instability.

If nothing improves tomorrow, passengers would be wise to try and avoid flying between 00.00 hours on August 19 and 23.59 on August 21.