200 flights canceled at Lisbon Airport at the start of the strike

Lisbon — According to the company that manages the Portuguese Airport (ANA), 200 flights were canceled at Lisbon Airport at the start of a two-day strike by workers from a Ground Force handling company.

A spokesman for the Union of Airport Technicians, who called for a strike, told local news agency Lusa that about 100 percent of the workers went on strike in Lisbon on Saturday.

The strike has had a significant impact on the Portuguese flag company TAP, which uses Groundforce’s processing services, but not on low-cost companies.

Ground force workers are demanding that the handling companies, which are in serious financial difficulty due to the coronavirus pandemic, pay their wages and this year’s holiday wages without delay.

The strike primarily affects the operation of Lisbon Airport, with little impact on the remaining nine Portuguese airports, said ANA Chief Executive Officer Thierry Ligonnière.

“Tomorrow is still difficult and we expect it to gradually return to normal on Monday,” Rigoniere told reporters.

Groundforce is owned by the Portuguese company Pasogal at 50.1%, the TAP-Air Portugal Group at 49.9%, and the TAP-Air Portugal Group at 72.5% under the control of Portugal.

TAP offered Groundforce to lend the money needed to pay the workers the holiday payments, but the proposal was rejected by the handling company.

By Sergio Goncalves

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