Pilots syndicate accuses TAP of “harmful and disastrous management”
Tiago Faria Lopes has been a familiar face in TAP's ongoing issues with staff. He claims the company's management is "harmful and disastrous"

TAP pilots syndicate calls for resignation of airline’s top brass

CEO and chairman “should assume responsibilities” and go, says syndicate leader

In the wake of the developing ‘golden handshake’ row, SPAC – the syndicate of civil aviation pilots – has called today for the resignations of TAP CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener, and chairman of the board Manuel Beja.

Tiago Faria Lopes, SPAC’s president, suggests both should assume their own responsibilities in what is snowballing into a political crisis threatening the stability of government.

“As a matter of solidarity, and loyalty to the minister (Pedro Nuno Santos who resigned last night)”, pilots are “expecting” the same from Ms Ourmières-Widener and Mr Beja, he told Lusa, citingall the recent scandals involving the airline“, and the “lie they wrote to the Securities and Markets Commission”.

“If they lie to the CMVM, which is the regulatory body, they are guaranteed to lie to the taxpayers and the workers of TAP Air Portugal,” he said.

But even resignations may not bring an end to this crisis.

Tiago Faria Lopes said there “appears” to be “an addendum to Christine Ourmières-Widener’s contract that states that at the end of the contract, or by early termination, she will receive a bonus.

“Obviously, that bonus, next to the half million euros that Alexandra Reis received, will be much bigger”, he ventured. And thus, “the scandal will be bigger” (if indeed this addendum exists).

Events now are falling over themselves in the wake of the resignation last night of Pedro Nuno Santos. Even the TAP strike, threatened by syndicates from the 27th of this month, appears to have taken second place (see below).

Talking this morning at an event on energy, environment minister Duarte Cordeiro has done his best to insist the government has “all the conditions” to remain in office. A statement from the prime minister however has yet to come.

CABIN CREW SYNDICATE CONFIRMS IMMINENT STRIKE ACTION

Adding to the sense of gathering storm, SNPVAC – the national syndicate representing TAP cabin crew – has today rejected the proposal submitted by management over salaries and conditions, thus maintaining its pre-publicised intention to hold five days of strike action before January 31.

The syndicate, which already staged a two-day stoppage between December 8-9, says it will be announcing the dates of imminent strike action “soon”. 

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com