800 accept TAP redundancy

 In Aviation, Companies, News

Almost 800 TAP staff have signed up to a voluntary redundancy package to quit the national carrier.

Applications for amicable redundancy by mutual agreement, early retirement, part time contracts, and unpaid leave had to be submitted by today (Wednesday) and will become effective by 31 March.
The vast majority of requests, around 500 – are through amicable severance agreements, according to the online news ECO. This option allows staff to apply for unemployment benefit and have a compensation package of 25% with an additional allowance of 2.5 salaries (to a maximum of €250,000). They also get annuities and health insurance for two years.
Cabin crew make up a large percentage of the amicable severance agreements which will reduce the need for the company to make staff redundant on its own initiative.
Apart from amicable severance packages, there are also early retirement and pre-retirement options, while others allow some staff to say on in a part-time capacity.
Following negotiations between TAP and the unions, 800 people will leave the company from various professional categories, from pilots to cabin crew. The original number of staff redundancies had been set at 2000.
On the issue of the baggage handlers company Groundforce, the minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos said this week that the company’s private shareholder, Alfredo Casimiro had tried to “fool the government”.
At issue is the negotiation process for a solution to the company’s financial problems which had various options on the table but ended up in a sale of the equipment to TAP.
In a parliamentary hearing of the Economy, Innovation, Public Works and Housing Commission, the minster said, “Everything that could have been done, was done”.
TAP had made advances on bills since August to relieve the fall in revenues caused by the pandemic, but when there had been €12.4 million of advances made to Groundforce, the airline company had requested guarantees, “Which seems to me to be the correct thing to do,” said Nuno Santos.
The guarantee requested was for the companies shares. “We started negotiations with the private shareholder and always with the shares as guarantee in the centre of these negotiations,” he said.
“We acted in good faith and until at the last minute when we learnt that they were already pledged as a guarantee to the bank Montepio. That was an unfortunate moment in which the entrepreneur had tried to cheat the Portuguese State, the Government, the country and the staff,” he said.
Pedro Nuno Santos has also accused the former PSD/CDS coalition government of having privatised Groundforce “on the sly” and “behind closed doors” in a process in which its majority shareholder, Alfredo Casimiro “was paid” to own the handling company. According to the minster the founder of the Urbanos removals and haulage company received €7.6 million before making any payment for Groundforce.