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Two hundred flights cancelled at Lisbon airport at start of strike

Stock MarketsJul 17, 2021 03:45PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Passengers wearing protective face masks walk at Lisbon's airport during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Lisbon, Portugal June 15, 2020. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante/File Photo

By Sergio Goncalves

LISBON (Reuters) - Two hundred flights were cancelled at Lisbon airport on Saturday at the start of a two-day strike by Groundforce handling company workers, with more cancellations likely before the action ends on Sunday evening, the company that manages Portugal's airports (ANA) said.

A spokesman for the Union of Airport Handling Technicians, which called the strike, told local news agency Lusa that around 100% of workers had taken part in the strike in Lisbon on Saturday, the busiest airport in the country.

The strike has had a huge impact on the Portuguese flag company TAP, which uses Groundforce's handling services, but has not affected low cost companies.

Groundforce workers are demanding that the handling company, which is in serious financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic, pay wages without any delay and this year's holiday pay.

The strike mainly affects the operation of Lisbon airport, and has little impact on the remaining 9 Portuguese airports, ANA chief executive Thierry Ligonnière said.

"We still anticipate difficulties tomorrow and a progressive return to normal on Monday," Ligonnière told reporters.

Groundforce is 50.1% owned by the Portuguese firm Pasogal and 49.9% by the TAP-Air Portugal group, which in turn is 72.5% controlled by the Portuguese State.

TAP offered to lend the money necessary for Groundforce to pay the holiday pay to its workers, but the proposal was turned down by the handling company.

Two hundred flights cancelled at Lisbon airport at start of strike
 

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Comments (6)
Dave Taylor
Dave Taylor Jul 18, 2021 4:19PM ET
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Nobody works for free, good on them for striking! If their employer would just pay them as agreed, they wouldn't have to strike. Pay your workers on time and they won't strike... Simple solution.
Miriam Morkhul
Miriam Morkhul Jul 18, 2021 9:12AM ET
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4 pilots died after vaccination program for SAS staff. Pilots probably are for udden to fly all over, because of increased bloodclot risk.
Miriam Morkhul
Miriam Morkhul Jul 18, 2021 9:12AM ET
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British Airways*, not SAS. Their identities are found on thecovidblog.com
Mike Mike
Mike Mike Jul 17, 2021 6:36PM ET
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unions = cancer
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jul 17, 2021 5:07PM ET
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Unions s u x on others espc the gov. Let the company bk but their gov won’t.
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Jul 17, 2021 2:15PM ET
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The message is: Avoid Disorganized states and disorganized societies. America is one of those disorganized societies and states. Don't book flights into disorganized societies as harm will come to you one way or the other. Wait until their education level rises so they can make better decisions and organize themselves with common sense. Once a society is organized it will present itself as organized and the decisions made by each member of such an organized society will be logical. Remember that fully just less than one-half of Americans voted for Trump who sealed his impression of character during his exit as not only an utter fool but also as a dangerous demagogue. China and many other uncivilized countries are also disorganized.
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Jul 17, 2021 2:15PM ET
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Ramblings
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Jul 17, 2021 2:06PM ET
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'..which in turn is 72.5% controlled by the Portuguese State..' __ There you go: Gov't incompetence once again. This situation has been brewing for many months and instead of the gov't protecting its tourist image by settling the issue quickly they continued to drag their feet. Nobody must ever expect to have workers work for delayed pay.
 
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