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Flight chaos: industrial action and suspect package in Lisbon spell misery for hundreds

Hundreds of airline passengers faced horrendous delays in Lisbon and Porto this weekend as security staff staged a 24-hour walkout.

The industrial action was its worst in Lisbon where some flights faced nine hour delays. To top the chaos, a ‘suspect package’ identified in the departures hall early this (Sunday) morning prompted further upset, seeing people evacuated from the check-in area for over an hour and a half.

A number ended up missing their flights, which they will now have to pay for a second time, reports SIC television news.

With national papers stressing that TAP recommended passengers turn up four hours in advance of their flights on Saturday, the situation now is much calmer – though more industrial action has been threatened.

The agony for many is that flights they may have missed twice (first due to Saturday’s industrial action and then second as a result of the so-called ‘bomb scare’) are not covered by the airlines.

SIC explains this is because the airlines were not responsible for the delays.

The industrial action was called by various unions following long-standing complaints by workers employed to operate x-ray screening equipment.

Employees of firms Prosegur and Securitas complain they have “the most mediocre possible” work conditions and “deserve more dignity”. Gripes extend from the lack of basic amenities, to the fact that they have to “ask to go to the lavatory”, reports Diário de Notícias.

Arménio Carlos, secretary general of the CGTP workers’ confederation has confirmed that “other struggles” will follow if Prosegur and Securitas do not come up with a “positive response” to workers’ demands.