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August 2, 2022

Portugal’s aviation staff call for a strike later this month over wages

The workers are accusing airport operator ANA and French company Vinci for not paying them properly despite earning huge profits.

Civil aviation workers in Portugal are planning to go on a strike later in August for three days, reported Reuters.

The strike is scheduled to start on 19 August and continue until 21 August.

Portugal’s Civil Aviation Workers’ Union (SINTAC) and the Commercial Aviation Staff Union (SQAC) threatened to go on a strike over demands of a pay hike and better working conditions.

The workers have accused airport operator ANA and French concessions and construction company Vinci, which controls ANA, for not paying them properly despite raking in huge profits.

They have also called on the companies to take immediate measures to ensure workers feel safe while doing their jobs.

The unions said in a statement: “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.”

ANA regretted the decision of the unions to strike as their salaries were revised in April and were given bonuses.

The company said in a statement: “ANA will continue to promote dialogue with social partners and will continue the ongoing negotiation.”

Both unions represent the cabin crew, ground handling services and other companies linked to the aviation industry.

Last month, air traffic controllers in Spain threatened to go on a strike if Enair, the state-owned air navigation firm, failed to hire additional people to cope with the summer rush.

This follows similar moves in other markets across Europe, which have increased the already prevalent disruption at airports triggered by workforce shortage and rebound in air travel demand after lifting Covid-19-induced restrictions.

Recently, chaos ensued at major German airports, including Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Hamburg, Munich and Berlin, after Lufthansa ground staff went on a strike calling for better pay.

Meanwhile, last month, French operator ADP’s workers scrapped plans for more walkouts after reaching an agreement with management over a pay increase.

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