Workers of two major airlines in Portugal have announced their intention to go on strike, citing concerns over their salaries and working conditions. The Civil Aviation Pilots’ Union (SPAC), representing TAP Air pilots, has issued a statement warning of a strike from April 7 to 10 if the government does not approve an agreement on their salaries, which restores labour conditions removed in 2021.
The cabin crew union of the Portuguese branch of easyJet has scheduled a strike from April 1 to 3, calling for wage hikes and better working conditions. The strikes at both airlines have the potential to cause significant disruptions to air travel in Portugal, with passengers advised to stay informed about the latest updates from their airlines regarding flight schedules.
1. Strike causes
The reason for the strike is due to the government’s failure to commit to the agreement between TAP and SPAC regarding the reinstatement of labour conditions. The departure of TAP’s current CEO at the end of March and the arrival of the new CEO, Luís Rodrigues, after mid-April has further complicated the issue.
SPAC stated that until the government ratifies the proposal, the strike will continue. The union has insisted that the government must still approve the proposal agreed upon between TAP and SPAC. In a statement titled ‘Strike in April if the government does not ratify agreement’, the union explained that the pilots approved TAP’s proposal to revise their working conditions that were imposed by the Temporary Emergency Agreement at the General Company Meeting. The meeting was called to discuss the protocol proposed by TAP following negotiations with the union.
Until the government ratifies the proposal, we will maintain the strikeCivil Aviation Pilots’ Union
2. Protocol issues
The pilots are anxious that the company may backtrack on the agreement, which covers two main issues, the first being the collective dismissal of pilots who were let go during the pandemic but were later rehired. These pilots remain subject to collective dismissal. The second issue concerns the protection of the rights of young pilots in the company. Due to the halt of their career progression in recent years, their salaries would be on par with newly hired pilots and SPAC aims to prevent this from happening.
SPAC is and will be attentive and unyielding in the defence of pilots’ interests.Civil Aviation Pilots’ Union
SPAC and TAP have negotiated a protocol that encompasses several significant matters, with the goal of addressing crucial issues in the aviation industry. One of the essential issues that the protocol covers is the integration of redundant pilots, with the aim of attracting and retaining talented pilots. Additionally, the agreement provides for the payment of pilot officers who have cruise command duties and includes provisions for a day of assistance service at the airport and simulators, which are essential aspects of the aviation industry.
The protocol addresses several other key issues that have a significant impact on the pilots’ welfare. For instance, the agreement provides for the same measures that have been recently implemented for other professional classes. It also includes a new table of allowances that can be modified to the previous model if it proves to be more advantageous. Moreover, the protocol provides for compensation in April and May for the complementary allowance and annual adjustment items, retroactive to March, if the negotiations on the new company agreement are concluded by May.