After a meeting that lasted “more than ten hours” and ended this morning, the National Union of Civil Aviation Aircrews (SNPVAC) sent a brief statement saying that “the groundwork has been laid for the realization of a document”, when it is completed, it will be passed on to union members for a vote.
This afternoon, the SNPVAC made it clear that only “a basis of understanding” has been defined and that the “final document in which the eventual agreement between the parties may be reached is not final”. So this Saturday there will be a new meeting between union management and TAP management.
So far there has been “white smoke” between the air carrier and the Civil Aviation Pilots Union (SPAC) and the ground crew unions to work towards a temporary emergency agreement. However, they still need to be validated by their members.
If voted in favor, they will replace the agreements that were suspended after the TAP group companies found themselves in a difficult economic situation and should remain in effect until 2024, a period during which the restructuring plan and assistance will be implemented is expected to end. This is being negotiated with the European Commission. In parallel, trade unions and TAP will begin talks this quarter to fully review the company agreement.
One of the novelties is the increase in the level at which the wage cuts apply from 900 euros to 1330 euros. For a salary of € 2,000, the reduction is € 167.5 (8.4% of the total salary) and not € 275 (13.8% of the total salary).
For pilots, the agreement covers 1252 pilots and provides for wage cuts of 50% (2021), 45% (2022), 40% (2023) and 35% (2024), “a transversal reduction for all TAP employees in 25% and another 25% in 2021, [de] 20% in 2022, [de] 15% in 2023 and [de] 10% in 2024, with the aim of preserving jobs ”and retrospectively until January 1st of this year.
According to the notice sent by SPAC to its staff, quoted by Lusa, the agreement that the pilots are voting on adds “to the voluntary actions the company will take,” such as: B. mutual dismissal, early retirement and working on time.
If the number of pilots set in the restructuring plan is not reached, the document says, “the company must take alternative measures to achieve this dimension, namely the termination of employment contracts”. Thus, the collective layoff scenario remains in the company.
The emergency agreement also provides that “the external contract with companies in the TAP group will include up to 21 aircraft” and that by 2024, “the need for pilots in Portugal must be met with the approval of TAP pilots, SA final transfer or an occasional transfer with no time limit, the working conditions for Portuguese pilots apply. “
“The parties undertake,” says the document cited by Lusa, “to find the measures to achieve the budgetary targets related to payroll for 2025 (173 million euros) according to the conditions and assumptions of the restructuring of the TAP can be. ” Plan forwards to SPAC and undertakes to comply with the provisions set out for the following years to the best of his ability in order to ensure the sustainability of the company. “
“It’s never a victory”
On the land staff side, SITAVA has already declared that “all the clauses that TAP originally intended to suspend were guaranteed and in force”. For example, health insurance remains in place.
“We only accepted the temporary career break during the contract period,” said José Sousa, General Secretary of SITAVA. Again, there have been changes as the cut will be 25% in 2021, 2022 and 2023 and will decrease to 20% in 2024, the final year government support to the air carrier and this agreement will go into effect. So far, the 25% reduction should apply for the entire period in question.
“It is never a victory to be forced to accept wage cuts, but given the starting point, we believe we have managed to significantly soften the intentions of the company and the government,” SITAVA said in a statement. As for other matters like adjusting the workforce, SITAVA would never commit to such a thing. The agreement we signed stipulated that TAP would provide workers with voluntary measures that workers can adhere to and that, if it is in their interests, they could benefit individually, “said this union.
The platform of the trade unions (SE, SERS, SIMA, SINTAC, SQAC and STHA), led by André Teives, stressed in a statement that this was an agreement that was negotiated “under atypical and very difficult conditions” and “after five long and intense conditions “meeting was achieved” with TAP. Among the points highlighted in this representative structure of workers are the “freezing of all clauses of the monetary expression” by the end of 2024 and the “maintenance of working hours”.
On the part of SITEMA (connected to the maintenance area) it was waiting for the certain number of workers that TAP considers to be surplus to have been sent to complete the negotiation process. Even so, he planned a meeting for his employees on Thursday afternoon at which the union would present the company’s latest proposal.
Without contingency agreements, TAP could unilaterally apply substitute agreements that are valid until the end of the carrier support period.
In addition to measures such as lowering wages, the strategy to reduce costs also includes reducing the number of employees. The initial scenario indicated 2000 fewer jobs, but the final figure is related to the savings from company agreements and the implementation of the voluntary membership program (which has not yet been presented).
The goal of the TAP Group, led by Miguel Frasquilho (Chairman of the Board of Directors) and Ramiro Sequeira (Chairman of the Board of Directors), this year is to cut wage costs by around half compared to 2019, that is, in the order of 385 million euros, below Keeping pressure on salaries and other costs at least until 2024 (with the intention of keeping some effects after this year).