Groundforce baggage handling company extends lay-off period until June 1

Baggage handling company Groundforce Portugal is keeping most of its staff under the lay-off regime until June 1. The scheme allows employers to temporarily reduce employee working hours or suspend their contracts altogether.

In a statement to the press, the company explains that there simply aren’t enough planes flying this month to justify bringing employees back to work.

Says the company, only around 800 flights are expected to take off or arrive in Portugal in May. In other words, Groundforce Portugal is down to just 5% of its usual workload.

“Requesting an extension of the lay-off period was inevitable to protect everyone’s jobs,” says the company.

According to Groundforce Portugal, 2,385 employees have seen their jobs temporarily suspended, while only 311 have been kept employed full-time and without a salary reduction.

Meantime, operations managers have seen their schedule reduced by 20% as well as company directors.

Executive administrators, on the other hand, have voluntarily accepted a 30% wage cut.

“The extension of the lay-off period is the best way to ensure the sustainability of the company at a time when our activity has been drastically reduced,” said Groundforce CEO Paulo Neto Leite.

He added that every decision that has been made aims to protect jobs and ensure that the company keeps its finances in order.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com