Portugal: hundreds of flights canceled following strike by baggage handlers at airports

Hundreds of flights departing or arriving at Portuguese airports were canceled over the weekend due to a strike by employees of Groundforce baggage handler protesting delays in the payment of their wages, airport manager ANA said on Sunday. .

The Groundforce ground services strike had a significant impact on the operation of Portuguese airports, in particular at Lisbon airportAn ANA spokeswoman told AFP, reporting 277 flights canceled on Saturday and at least 345 new flights canceled on Sunday.

Lisbon airport, “hub” of the national company TAP Air Portugal, was the most affected with nearly 550 canceled flights, against some 450 connections made or maintained.

The baggage handlers of Groundforce decided on this 48 hour strike to denounce the “situation of unsustainable instability“that the company is experiencing, in the grip of serious financial difficulties against a backdrop of tensions between its main private shareholder and TAP, which holds 49.9% of the capital.

In May, TAP demanded the bankruptcy of Groundforce, which had been refused a bank loan of 30 million euros guaranteed by the State.

The unions representing its some 2,800 employees, who have suffered late payments since February, have already launched a new strike call for the last weekend of July.

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