Portway workers start strike today over non-compliance with Company Agreement

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Portway workers begin a strike today that will extend to August, in two periods, in protest for the continuity of collective bargaining negotiations, contesting the calculation of the payment of holidays on a scale.

The strike began at 00:00 today and will last until 23:59 on Monday, before resuming between 00:00 on August 5 and 23:59 on August 6.

On July 5, the unions of the Merchant Marine, Travel Agency, Freight Forwarding and Fishing Workers (Simamevip), the Aviation and Airport Workers (Sitava), the Airport Handling Technicians (STHA) and the Democratic Union of Airport and Aviation Workers (Sindav) announced the stoppage, which is in addition to a strike “for all overtime work” that began on the 19th of the same month.

Already on July 6, the Union of Airport, Maintenance and Aviation Workers (STAMA) joined this four-day strike, also marking a strike on overtime or extraordinary work from July 24.

The unions argue that Portway/Vinci “decided not to pursue a path of dialogue, causing a situation of conflict”, which led to the presentation of the strike notice “for decent work and with rights” and in response to what they classify as an “attack” by the company.

The unions argue that, after eight months of application of the Company Agreement of (AE2020), which provides that “work done on a public holiday, which is a normal working day, will give rise to an increase of 50% of the corresponding remuneration”, the company decided, “unilaterally, to change the way of calculating the payment of holidays on a scale, contrary to the spirit that had been agreed (change of the coefficient 1.50 to 0.50)”.

On the other hand, they recall that, between March 2022 and May 2023, a conflict prevention process requested by Portway took place “allegedly with the aim of ‘converging the union structures in the adoption of a single collective regulation instrument’ (a single SA), as well as ‘maintaining a climate of social peace'”, ensuring that “they always participated in this process constructively and in good faith, as they had already been in the 2019/20 negotiation process”.

However, after the 16th negotiation meeting held on 24 May at the Directorate-General for Employment and Labour Relations (DGERT), the unions accuse Portway of, “both by actions and omissions”, being “directing its workers to join a particular organization”, in an attitude that it considers to be “absolutely unqualified”.

Portway said it does not recognize grounds for the strike, guaranteeing “strict” compliance with the Company Agreement (AE) regarding work on public holidays, according to a statement.

The workers of the ‘handlig’ company will have to ensure, on each of the days of strike, minimum ground handling services for flights at the affected airports, namely Lisbon and Porto.

The list of minimum services also includes ground handling on flights of State (national or foreign), military or imposed by critical situations concerning the safety of persons and goods, such as flights-ambulance or for technical or meteorological reasons.

The minimum services will also have to cover humanitarian flights related to the war in Ukraine or flights that are already underway when the strike begins.

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