TAP Christmas strike “could ruin the airline”

TAP Christmas strike “could ruin the airline”

As hundreds of airline passengers continue to scramble to change flight bookings made with TAP, the president of the airline has come out in print over the implications of strike action planned over the Christmas holidays.
The general strike by 12 workers syndicates could quite simply ruin the national airline, Brazilian Fernando Pinto has told his workforce.
In a Christmas message to TAP staff, Pinto explains: “It is my duty to say clearly: the survival of TAP is at risk if the current instability continues and the relationship of trust with our market is not rapidly normalised”.
TAP workers have called the four-day strike between December 27 and 30, and a government “civil action” lodged to break it may not be successful. Público newspaper explains, workers will still be entitled to skip work, as long as they have a valid excuse.
Thus, Pinto’s dismal Christmas message is perhaps a last resort. It came as the airline reopened sales for bookings over the strike period.
“I am aware that the company has lived through other crises in its past”, Pinto wrote. “This could have led to the idea that its importance for the country could save it from negative consequences”.
But the clear bottom line is that it won’t. And the government has been equally clear over its determination to press ahead with privatisation of the national carrier, whether workers want it or not.
It now remains to be seen if there is an airline left to privatise. 2014 has been the worst in TAP’s history – marked already by seven strikes, hundreds of flight cancellations and numerous stories of inflight technical faults which have seen many planes turning back when already underway.