Portuguese airport staff threaten strike action

02 Aug 2022

Civil aviation workers in Portugal have threatened a three-day strike at the end of the month it was announced on Monday.

Unions have accused the firm that operates Portugal’s largest airports of not increasing wages or providing better working conditions.

This threat of strike action by Portugal's Civil Aviation Workers' Union (SINTAC) and the Commercial Aviation Staff Union (SQAC) is the latest in a string of walkouts during a time when the transport sector in Europe continues to grapple with the return to travel following Covid-fuelled lockdowns.

The strike action is due to take place from 19th to 21st August, according to a joint statement by the unions.

They both said that airport operator, ANA – which runs 10 Portuguese airports in Lisbon, Porto and Faro – as well as French group Vinci, which controls ANA, of making millions of Euros in net profit, but failing to increase employees’ salaries, Reuters reports.

In addition, the unions have demanded ANA and Vinci adopt “urgent” measures to ensure staff feel safe at work.

"Only by doing this (strike) we will be able to achieve what the company has been lacking for a long time: social stability, respect for workers' rights and, fundamentally, for people," the unions stated.

ANA said in a statement that it was disappointed with the unions’ decision to undertake strike action as salaries were reviewed in April and workers had received bonuses.

"ANA will continue to promote dialogue with social partners and will continue the ongoing negotiation," ANA commented.

As well as cabin crew, the unions also represent ground handling services and other businesses within the aviation industry.

At the beginning of last month, air traffic controllers in Spain threatened strike action if air navigation firm Enaire failed to recruit more staff over summer.