Meetings with trade unions on TAP restructuring begin

  • Lusa
  • 12 November 2020

The Portuguese airline is holding meetings with the Workers' Committee and trade unions on Thursday and Friday on TAP's restructuring plan.

TAP’s management is holding a series of technical meetings with the Workers’ Committee and trade unions on Thursday and Friday on the airline’s restructuring plan to be presented to Brussels by December 10.

The meetings with workers’ representatives are taking place as part of the company’s restructuring process, the first phase of which has already been completed, according to Pedro Nuno Santos, Minister for Infrastructure and Housing.

On Thursday, the meetings with the Civil Aviation Pilots Union (SPAC), the National Civil Aviation Flight Personnel Union (SNPVAC) and the Workers Commission are taking place, as confirmed by the entities to Lusa.

On Friday, it will be the turn of the ground workers’ unions to know what is foreseen in the restructuring plan, which must be presented to the European Commission by December 10.

On the other side of the table will be Miguel Malaquias, the administration representative and coordinator of the restructuring plan, as well as Carlos Elavai, of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which is preparing the plan, and Pedro Ramos, TAP’s human resources director.

On Tuesday, Expresso reported that Cunha Vaz e Associados had been chosen, in a public consultation, to advise TAP, with the company’s restructuring dossier as its main mission.

When contacted by Lusa, António Cunha Vaz confirmed the choice, but said that they have not yet started working with the airline, and are currently awaiting a contact from TAP to meet, which he believes will happen “one of these days”.

Lusa contacted the Ministry of Infrastructure about the reasons for hiring a company to advise TAP, which has its own communications office, and the government replied that this type of hiring is part of the executive management of TAP, and it is not for the government to decide.

Last week, the minister for infrastructure said in parliament that the first phase of TAP’s restructuring plan is done and that negotiations with the unions would start right away.

Pedro Nuno Santos, who was heard in parliament, as part of the special assessment of the proposed State Budget for 2021 (OE2021), stressed that the restructuring plan will be demanding and very difficult because otherwise the Portuguese would not understand the injection of public money that is being made.

“We have an airline that is oversized for the current reality and we have to achieve a restructuring process that ensures that the airline will be viable and sustainable,” said Pedro Nuno Santos.

“We cannot artificially maintain a dimension that is not currently in demand,” the minister added.

In front of parliamentarians, the minister also reaffirmed that TAP would need to use the full €1.2 billion of the state loan by the end of the year.

On October 15, Pedro Nuno Santos announced in parliament that 1,600 workers would leave the TAP group by the end of the year, with 1,200 employees already leaving.

Earlier, the minister for infrastructure and housing had already stated that TAP was abandoning orders that had already been made and negotiating the return of some aircraft.