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Cabin crew for Portuguese carrier TAP begin strike action

The cabin crew of the Portuguese airline TAP began a two-day strike on Thursday while threatening more walkouts in the weeks to come.

The strike forced the state-owned carrier to cancel 360 flights this week, affecting around 50,000 travelers and costing the airline around €8 million ($8.4 million)

With Thursday being a public holiday in Portugal, the strike comes during a popular time for travel.

Ricardo Penarroias, head of the SNPVAC union that called the strike, told Portuguese agency Lusa on Thursday that all union members participated in the walkout.

On Tuesday, the union announced five more days of walkouts until the end of January, which could cancel a further 1,500 flights.

TAP, which posted a €1.6 billion net loss for 2021, is undergoing a restructuring program after the Portuguese government offered an EU-approved €2.55 billion bailout.

The restructuring includes downsizing the TAP fleet, cutting jobs and reducing wages by as much as 25%.

Besides complaining about those conditions, the union says TAP owes workers more than €12 million in back pay.

TAP has slammed the union for its “total inflexibility to negotiate a solution that does not harm customers, the company and the Portuguese people.”

SNPVAC head Penarroias said Thursday that the union is “always available, but holding meetings where they bring us nothing isn’t worth it.”

He said what is needed from TAP now is a “proactive position” and “constructive dialogue.”

Source: Anadolu Agency