The strike by Groundforce workers, which was scheduled for July 31 and August 1 and 2, was called off this Thursday.
The unions of Airport Handling Technicians (STHA), Metallurgical and Related Industries (SIMA) and Economists (SE) call off the strike at Groundforce scheduled for the 31st of July, 1st and 2nd of August.
“As a result of last weekend’s historic strike, in which workers are the only protagonists, it was possible, in a meeting today at 2:30 pm, to reach a appointment with the Government, in order to unblock, with immediate effect, the strike on August 31, 1 and 2”, informed the union structures, in a statement.
The terms of the recall, they explain, are the “payment of vacation pay and of the overdue annuities 2021, before the July salary processing (the 28th), for all workers”, the “effective guarantee, and already made public by the Government, of the timely and full payment of the July salary”, as well as the “effective guarantee, and now made public by the Government, that Groundforce’s shareholder situation will be resolved very soon, either by the sale of shares to a private company by Montepio, or by action/intervention by the Portuguese State and TAP”.
“As in any process, trust must prevail between the interlocutors, even if only on a minimal scale and for the greater good”, considered the workers’ representatives, who consider that “the strong mobilization of all workers at all airports” , in the strike last weekend, ”it was decisive for this outcome”.
The unions thanked the involvement of the Portuguese Tourism Confederation (CTP) and the Portuguese Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies (APAVT) “which, in a joint effort, defended the interests of workers, TAP, tourism and the country, to what Groundforce’s strategic role for everyone was made clear and once and for all”.
Groundforce workers complied two days of strike last weekend, summoned by STHA, as a protest for the “unsustainable instability situation, regarding the timely payment of wages and other pecuniary components” that Groundforce workers have faced since February 2021.
The stoppage led to the cancellation of flights, especially at Lisbon airport.
In addition to this strike, since July 15th, Groundforce workers are also complying with an overtime strike, which runs until 24:00 on October 31, 2021.
This Wednesday, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing revealed, in a statement, that TAP will pay vacation pay and wage arrears of Groundforce workers.
“It was announced today, at a meeting with Groundforce unions, that TAP is going to pay the amount corresponding to the vacation allowance and overdue annuities directly to Groundforce workers”, reads the note from the Ministry of Infrastructure.
The same document also informs that this “was the solution found to overcome last week’s refusal by Groundforce’s management to accept the transfer of TAP, which would allow the payment to workers of the allowance that was due to them.”
Groundforce is 50.1% owned by Pasogal and 49.9% by the TAP group, which, in 2020, became 72.5% owned by the Portuguese State.