TAP pilots schedule strike for Easter

Union promises to cancel strike if government ratifies agreement between TAP and pilots

TAP pilots in Portugal have scheduled a strike for Easter, between April 7 and 10, to pressure the government to ratify the agreement signed with TAP, which restores labour conditions withdrawn in 2021, the pilots’ union (SPAC) announced.

The strike was approved last night at a pilots’ assembly as “the ministry is not committing to this agreement with the new management” of TAP, a source from the Civil Aviation Pilots’ Union (SPAC) told Lusa, referring to the departure of TAP’s current CEO at the end of this month and the entrance of the new CEO, Luís Rodrigues, after mid-April.

“Until the government ratifies the proposal, we will maintain the strike,” said a source from SPAC, insisting that “the government still needs to approve” the proposal agreed between TAP and SPAC.

In a statement released this morning called ‘Strike in April if the government does not ratify agreement’, the union explained that the pilots approved TAP’s proposal for the revision of the pilots’ working conditions imposed by the Temporary Emergency Agreement at the General Company Meeting. The meeting was called to discuss the protocol proposed by TAP following negotiations held with the union.

“Following the demands presented by SPAC, TAP drew up the proposal that was approved today by the pilots, with the participation (in person or by proxy) of 655 members, with 341 votes in favour (50.6%), of the Protocol to review the conditions imposed by the Temporary Emergency Agreement,” it said.

The union noted that the “effectiveness of the agreement was dependent on approval” by the state shareholder, as far as TAP is concerned, and the Pilots’ Assembly, as far as SPAC is concerned.

“As only SPAC, in the Pilots’ Assembly, and the Executive Committee of TAP have reached an agreement, until now, with the absence of a manifestation by the shareholder, the agreement is not yet effective,” it explained, justifying the protest approved by the pilots.

The strike notice for April 7, 8, 9 and 10 was approved by the pilots, with 515 votes in favour (87.1% of the total).

SPAC is awaiting the fulfilment of the agreement signed with the Executive Committee, by the shareholder, to lift the strike notice,” it stressed.

The union also explained that the protocol proposed by TAP includes a series of measures that, although not what initially desired, the pilots considered “sufficient to restore some justice and restore some purchasing power.”

“SPAC’s focus was to solve the issue of pilots fired during the pandemic, who have since been reinstated but are still subject to collective dismissal, and to safeguard the rights of the youngest pilots in the company who, due to the freezing of their progression in recent years, would have an equal salary to those who now join the company,” it said.

Among the issues included in the protocol negotiated between SPAC and TAP, they highlight the agreement on the integration of redundant pilots in view of the need to hire and retain talent, the payment to pilot officers with cruise command duties and the day of assistance service at the airport and simulators.

Also among the issues are the same measures recently applied to other professional classes, the new table of allowances with the opening to return to the previous model if it does not prove favourable, and the compensation in April and May of the items relating to complementary allowance and annual adjustment, retroactively to March, if the negotiations of the new company agreement are closed in May.

“SPAC is and will be attentive and unyielding in the defence of pilots’ interests,” he concludes.

Source: LUSA