TAP strike called off by unions

A damaging round of TAP cabin crew strikes scheduled for this month and next has been called off.

The strike was called off after a series of meetings at the end of last week between the indebted airline, the unions and the Employment Ministry.

The decision to cancel the ten-day strike by cabin crew over staffing numbers on flights, flight time hours and overtime was agreed by the National Union of Civil Aviation Flight Personnel (SNPVAC) after a General Assembly meeting in which the airline agreed to up perks for staff members and their families.

The strike had initially been called because the airline had decided to slash the number of crew members on board its flights to cut costs.

The first day of strike action had been scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday).

Ricardo Andrade, one of the union leaders, initially preferred not to explain why the strike had been averted. “We have to first inform our members,” he said.

However, it emerged that cabin crew had been given generous terms for “time off” and increased numbers of subsidised flights (four more) for crew members and their families.

The decision to call off the strike also followed a petition from airline industry members which contained more than 2,800 signatures.

It was sent to both the new prime minister and the president of the republic.

“At a time when the country is going through difficult and dramatic times, it is unacceptable that TAP cabin crew is once again planning to go on strike, putting their colleagues’ jobs at risk and the company itself on the line,” states the petition.

It was even suggested that the government should step in with extraordinary measures to keep the planes flying under a special decree if the strikes went ahead.