Unions “reached emergency agreement” with TAP

  • Lusa
  • 5 February 2021

Portugal's Union of Civil Aviation Pilots (SPAC) announced that an emergency agreement had been reached with TAP and the government on suspending the existing company agreement.

Portugal’s Union of Civil Aviation Pilots (SPAC) has told its members that an emergency agreement had been reached with TAP and the government on suspending the existing company agreement, as the airline prepares for a restructuring to cope with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a note to members, SPAC said that full details would be released after the conclusion of negotiations later on Friday.

“We today [Thursday] late afternoon, together with TAP and the Government, reached an emergency agreement,” the union said in a note sent late on Thursday night that Lusa has seen.

According to SPAC, at the request of its interlocutors, it agreed “to only divulge the details of the agreement after the end of the negotiations” between TAP and representatives of the state, its main shareholder, and trade unions, “which is expected to happen [on Friday] at the end of the day.

“As soon as this happens, we will send the emergency agreement to all affiliated members, so that they can analyse it with all due attention and in due time before the company’s [shareholders] assembly, which will be scheduled by the chairman,” adds the note.

The union is one of those that have continued the negotiations, the others being the National Union of Civil Aviation Flight Personnel (SNPVAC), the Union of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (SITEMA), the Union of Transport Workers of Portugal (STTAMP) and the Union of Transport, Maintenance and Aviation Workers (STAMA).

The deadline for reaching the emergency agreement was Sunday, 31 January, but negotiations were extended, a union source told Lusa.

After the official declaration that TAP was the company in a difficult economic situation – which allows for the suspension of clauses in existing company agreements or of applicable collective regulation instruments – and to take steps to cut personnel costs, TAP handed the unions proposals for emergency agreements.

A plan to restructure the airline, submitted to the European Commission on 10 December, foresees the suspension of the company agreements – without which measure, according to the minister responsible, Pedro Nuno Santos, it would not be possible to restructure the airline.

The plan foresees the dismissal of 500 pilots, 750 cabin crew, 450 maintenance and engineering workers, and 250 staff in other areas, with the aim of cutting the wage bill by 25% (with a 30% cut in spending on directors’ pay) and a reduction in the size of the fleet to 88 commercial aircraft from the current 108.