Today’s strike by Groundforce workers significantly affected TAP’s operation, acknowledged the executive president of the air carrier, who anticipated cancellations and similar delays at Lisbon airport for today.
“Our entire operation was significantly affected. Today we had no alternative but to cancel almost all our flights. For Sunday, cancellations and similar delays are expected in TAP’s operations, especially at Lisbon airport”, he said. Christine Ourmières-Widener, in a letter sent to the workers of the transport company that Lusa had access to.
According to TAP’s CEO, the strike by the company’s workers handling “had an impact on TAP’s operation, especially at Lisbon airport”, a situation that “affected all customers with reservations for this weekend and all colleagues who worked tirelessly today to manage this entire situation”.
After highlighting the “remarkable effort of the TAP team to adapt to adverse and unexpected circumstances”, Christine Ourmières-Widener stated in the same letter that, as of Friday, the contingency customer response plan was activated to “protect and directly notify all passengers”.
“We also recommend that customers whose flights are being impacted by the strike favor the company’s online self-service tools, such as Manage Your Booking, which allows you to consult and change the protection performed, and Flight Info Tool, which provides data in real time of departures and arrivals, allowing to reduce the number of calls to the call center regarding requests for information regarding flights”, said the executive president.
Furthermore, according to Christine Ourmières-Widener, TAP created, exclusively for this strike, a page on the company’s website with instructions in case of flight and baggage difficulties.
Yesterday was the first day of the strike called by the Union of Airport Handling Technicians (STHA), as a protest by the “unsustainable instability situation, with regard to the punctual payment of wages and other pecuniary components” that Groundforce workers have faced since February 2021.
According to ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal, 242 flights were canceled today at Lisbon airport – 107 arrivals and 135 departures.
At Porto airport, the strike led to the cancellation of 18 flights (nine arrivals and nine departures), in Faro and Madeira three arrivals and three departures were canceled at each airport and in Porto Santo the stoppage forced the cancellation of four connections airlines.
A stoppage will be prolonged on the 18th and 31st of July, the 1st and the 2nd of August, which led ANA to warn of constraints at national airports, cancellations and delays on flights assisted by Groundforce, at the airports of Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Funchal and Porto Santo.
In addition to this strike, since July 15th, Groundforce workers are also carrying out an overtime strike, which lasts until midnight on October 31st, 2021.
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.