TAP Portugal

TAP cabin crew expected to confirm strike later this week “and threaten more to come”

Likelihood of further strike days “very probable” says syndicate president

Another holiday period, another TAP strike. TAP cabin crew syndicate SNPVAC is meeting today, ostensibly to confirm the strike scheduled for later this week.

The likelihood however is that further strikes will be coming (see update below).

SNPVAC president Ricardo Penarroias has told Lusa it is “very probable”.

The ongoing battle between TAP employees and management tied to a restructuring plan that is costing the country €3.2 billion has managed to career further and further down what looks like a dead-end alley.

TAP’s CEO – and to a large extent the government – has said any kind of strike action will be ‘catastrophic’ for the airline which is trying to attract investors (one could say ‘desperately’). But still the syndicates persist in their demands.

Penarroias accuses TAP hierarchy of not having shown “any willingness to engage in dialogue, to resolve the dispute”.

“The company unilaterally decided to end negotiations, and the union was always available to negotiate”, he said.

Questioned about expectations regarding the impact of the strike, the union leader considered that “basically 50 per cent of the strike has already been achieved”, as TAP has cancelled 360 flights on Thursday and Friday.

Says Lusa, the decision to cancel the flights affected around 50,000 passengers, causing “a loss of €8 million in revenue” (all affected passengers have been told they can reschedule their flights without any penalties).

UPDATE 5pm today: The general assembly of SNPVAC has indeed confirmed this week’s two days of strike action, and “decided to schedule at least five more days of strike action before January 31” next year.

TAP CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener has said: “”We are very sad. I hope that we will be able to meet again after these two days (of strikes on Thursday and Friday) and try to find a solution to avoid disruptions for everyone”.

She added: “It is important to ensure that we all bear in mind that TAP is strategic for the country and that the survival of TAP and a better financial result – which we have already shown in the third quarter – are critical for the future. For the future of the company, for the future of the country and also for the future of employment for all TAP workers”.