TAP restructuring plan implemented successfully, says the ministry of infrastructure

  • Lusa
  • 16 August 2022

The country's ministry of infrastructure said on Tuesday the TAP restructuring plan "is being carried out successfully."

Portugal’s ministry of infrastructure said on Tuesday it was counting on the workers’ “sense of responsibility” to transform the airline “into a profitable and sustainable company “at a time” when the TAP restructuring plan “is being carried out successfully.”

Several hundred TAP workers, including pilots, cabin crew and maintenance technicians, demonstrated today in Lisbon in a silent march to the ministry of infrastructure to improve the quality of service and sustainability of the company.

In a statement, the ministry stressed that “it has closely followed the demands and appeals made by TAP workers over recent months and understands the difficult time being experienced by everyone who makes it possible for the company to operate every day.

However, it added, “we must not forget that the airline is still going through the most challenging time in its history” since TAP “is experiencing the consequences of 2020, when the closure of the company was only halted by the injection of public funds, by the Portuguese state, to an amount that will reach €3.2 billion.”

This injection of public funds “was only authorised by the European Commission because it was subject to a demanding restructuring plan, which will only end in 2025,” said the ministry headed by Pedro Nuno Santos, stressing that the plan “- which was approved less than eight months ago – was only authorised because it had a substantial contribution from the workers, reflected in the reduction of the number of staff in the company (a process that is now finished) and in the reduction of the salaries of workers who remained in TAP.

The ministry pointed out that “the process of reducing labour costs in the company resulted from agreements signed with 14 organisations representing workers, demonstrating an enormous sense of responsibility and commitment to the company’s recovery.

Now, “at a time when the restructuring plan is being successfully implemented – even in a very demanding international context, from an economic and operational point of view, the ministry is counting on the same sense of responsibility and commitment from the workers to transform TAP into a profitable and sustainable company in the future,” it added.

Previously, the TAP Executive Committee had repudiated “the constant attempt to attack its credibility and competence” on the same day that a ‘silent march’ was taking place.

On Friday, the boards of the National Union of Civil Aviation Flight Personnel (SNPVAC), the Union of Civil Aviation Pilots (SPAC) and the Union of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (SITEMA) announced the protest, which brings together “for the first time in the history of national aviation, pilots, cabin crew and maintenance technicians.”

The TAP Executive Board stressed that “it has always been open to dialogue with all the unions and in the many meetings it has held with union leaders” and “provides all information that is requested and seeks, in good faith, to clarify all issues and doubts that are raised,” but “does not engage in dialogue with the unions via press releases or public statements that could generate headlines.”

TAP’s management also said that “the doors are always open for serious and constructive dialogue, in a way that contributes to an effective improvement in the working conditions of all workers.”

The management of any company “is evaluated not by union press releases, but by the management results it presents, and these results, contrary to the claims made by some unions, are audited, verified and validated by the political authorities and by the various stakeholders” of TAP, the Executive Committee noted, adding that the results of the second quarter and the first half will be released on 23 August.

“It is these results that allow the evaluation of their performance and the work that is being developed at TAP, not only by the management but by all the employees,” concluded the Executive Committee.