TAP cabin crew, management in new talks to try to avoid 25-31 January strike

  • Lusa
  • 20 January 2023

TAP announced on Thursday that the crew members' strike will lead to the cancellation of 1,316 flights and generate a direct impact of €48 million, according to a statement.

Portugal’s national civil aviation flight crew union (SNPVAC) and flag carrier TAP will be in a new round of negotiations on Friday to try to avoid a strike of cabin crew members, scheduled to take place between 25 and 31 January.

In a message to members, the union said that “another round of negotiations took place yesterday [Thursday], at the end of the day, between the TAP management and the SNPVAC board, in an attempt to resolve the dispute” between the two parties.

At this meeting, the union leadership guaranteed that it explained “in detail”, the “enormous dissatisfaction” of the members, who on Thursday rejected TAP’s proposal in a general meeting and decided to maintain the strike notice between 25 and 31 January.

“During the meeting, union leaders expressed that, in addition to the points not achieved, the document itself does not convey the necessary confidence for its ratification, due to several years of piecemeal interpretations by the company,” the union structure highlighted.

The SNPVAC management hopes that “the management and the supervising entities have understood that yesterday’s result does not only come from the document, but from several years of unilateral interpretations, which have broken the trust in the management”.

Even so, “there will be, today, a new round of negotiations”, the result of which the SNPVAC will communicate to its members, “as soon as possible, so that there are no doubts and misrepresentations of the message”.

“Yesterday, at the general meeting, we demonstrated that, more than the return of our working conditions, our operational and family situation and financial conditions, we want the respect and dignity we deserve,” the union remarked.

TAP announced on Thursday that the crew members’ strike will lead to the cancellation of 1,316 flights and generate a direct impact of €48 million, according to a statement.

“With this new stoppage 1,316 flights will be cancelled and 156,000 passengers affected, which represents an estimated total direct cost of €48 million (€29.3 million in lost revenue and €18.7 million in compensation to passengers),” TAP highlighted.

The airline also expects “losses of an additional 20 million due to the potential impact on sales for other days and sub-optimisation of other flights, with passengers being reaccommodated”.

In the same statement, the airline stressed that, “as already mentioned by the CEO [chief executive officer], a reward for all TAP workers was being analysed following the results obtained, which would soon be announced and which has now been called into question.

On Tuesday, Christine Ourmières-Widener said in a message to employees, to which Lusa had access, that TAP would invest €48 million in compensation for employees, “to alleviate pay cuts”, having last year recorded “one of the highest revenues in its history”.

The leader of the crew union told Lusa that the feeling of dissatisfaction of the workers “is giant”, but keeps the door open to dialogue with the company.

“It was probably one of the largest votes ever and it’s a sign that I hope the management, that the government understands once and for all. The dissatisfaction is giant, the dissatisfaction has reached levels that it is not enough for us to reach agreement on 12 out of 14 proposals”, said Ricardo Penarróias.