Strike likely in Portugal over holiday period

Portuguese government sticks to plan to sell carrier

Despite the threat of a four-day strike, the Portuguese government is sticking to its plan to sell struggling flag carrier TAP. Following three days of inconclusive talks, unions are now likely to strike at the height of the holiday season, on December 27-30.

Transport Secretary Sergio Monteiro blamed the unions for rejecting proposals to work on more employee-friendly privatisation terms. Unions argue that any privatisation would cut pay and jobs. A strike during this period would hit around 300 daily flights and 120,000 passengers – and cost TAP millions of euros.

“The government profoundly regrets this decision by the unions and reaffirms the importance of TAP continuing to fly in this critical period, as not flying will be very damaging… We can only hope that the unions could revise their position.”

He added: “Privatisation is the only way to guarantee that TAP continues to exist, that it grows, that it adds routes and planes. […] We believe that there is a national, political and social consensus for the privatisation to go ahead.”

As reported, Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho has already said that if TAP is not sold it could disappear altogether.

Reuters


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