The Airport Handling Technicians Union (STHA) called a strike at Grondforce on July 17th, 18th and 31st, August 1st and 2nd, according to a letter sent to Lusa.
In the same note, the union structure details that the strike covers SPdH (Groundforce) workers in Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Funchal and Porto Santo and will take place from 00:00 on the 17th to 24:00 on the 18th of July 2021 and from 00:00 on the 31st of July to 24:00 on the 2nd of August 2021.
STHA also called for an overtime work stoppage from 00:00 on the 15th of July to 24:00 on the 31st of October of 2021. “For workers whose working hours begin before 00:00 on July 17 and 31 or end after 24:00 on July 18 and August 2, if most of their normal period of work coincides with the period of time covered by this prior notice of strike, it will take effect from the time of entry into service, or will extend until the time of departure”, indicated the union,on the same note.
The union structure listened to the members, and they mandated “(98% in favor), the National Direction of STHA to present this prior notice of strike”, indicated the entity. The union justified the call for this strike “considering that, since February 2021, SPdH has been in an unsustainable situation of instability, with regard to the timely payment of salaries and other pecuniary components”, accusing TAP SGPS, SA, “as a of shareholder”, to do nothing “to guarantee the salaries of SPdH workers, not transferring any value since January 2021”.
STHA also assures that “TAP Serviços, as a supplier to SPdH, captivates approximately 600 thousand euros monthly, without a minute of moratorium and without a penny discount, taking into account the pandemic and its harmful effects felt throughout the sector of Aviation and Airports, charging itself as a supplier (because it is responsible for the treasury management as a shareholder), not allowing the punctual payment of salaries of SPdH workers”.
According to the union, “SPdH currently has 1,100 fewer workers (1/3 of its workforce) than it had in March 2020”, mainly due to the non-renewal of employment contracts. The structure also highlights that all other airlines that the company supports “have paid in advance the payment of invoices for services already provided, contributing to the timely payment of salaries of SPdH workers, as happened last May”, recalling the insolvency request submitted by TAP to the Court of Commerce of Lisbon on 10 May, “which today, the grounds”, he considers, “are out of date, both in quantitative terms” and in terms of the “exponential increase in activity that everyone feels at national airports since Easter”.
Finally, STHA points out that “TAP (shareholder, supplier and customer, of reference) did not complete the missing amount for June salaries (approximately one million euros), jeopardizing its own operation, recovery and resumes, a risk that can certainly amount to tens of millions of euros.
According to the structure, “during the stoppage, the workers will also ensure the provision of the minimum essential services to satisfy the indispensable social needs in the company, which are intended to satisfy these needs”.
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.