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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Easyjet cabin crew strikers demonstrate outside Lisbon terminal 1

Lisbon,May 26,2023(Lusa)-Dozens of easyJet cabin crew are demonstrating on Friday near Lisbon airport terminal 1 to demand better working conditions, in the first of five days of strike that forced the company to cancel 385 flights.
Speaking to journalists, the president of the National Union of Civil Aviation Flight Personnel (SNPVAC), Ricardo Penarroias, insisted on the fact that the company has come closer to workers' demands in other countries over the years, but not in Portugal.
As an example, the union leader pointed to differences of more than 100% in the pay of easyJet cabin crew in Portugal and other European countries.
"In terms of salaries, the discrepancy in relation to other bases in Europe is striking. For example, between a crew member in Portugal compared to one in Germany or France, we are talking about absurd percentages of 120%", said the official, who was speaking to journalists at the beginning of the protest scheduled for today near the airport Metro station, in Lisbon, at one of the entrances of Terminal 1.
The union leader also stressed: "The discrepancy is very big, especially when easyJet itself has said that it is a consolidated brand in Portugal, that it has an important market in Portugal, and what we understand is that, if this is a reality, working conditions and salaries must also accompany this reality".
"Millionaire bonuses, precarious salaries", "Maximum profitability, minimum remuneration", "easyJet summer sales up to 132% discount for Portuguese workers", and "Aviation in expansion, not salaries" are some of the phrases that can be read on the posters wielded by the workers.
"We are no longer a second base, as easyJet initially targeted Lisbon and Porto when it set up in Portugal", sais Ricardo Penarroias.
Asked about the company's argument, which says that what is proposed by the union for wage increases is "impractical" - talking about increases between 63% and 103% - and that the workers "earn above the national average", the union leader says it is an unfair statement.
"This is very unfair for two reasons: firstly, the average salary in Portugal is low, much lower than it should be considering the standard of living that exists in Portugal today, and secondly because the specificities of the profession force workers' salaries to be higher than the average for that very reason", he said.
In this case - he insisted - "the crew salaries are below the average of crew members in Portugal in this market. Therefore, this statement by easyJet is pathetic in my point of view".
The union leader also added: "the system of easyJet's own network, in which it understands that there is (...) a consolidation of longer ago in other bases in Europe, such as Germany, France, and that the standard of living is higher in these countries, which is also wrong".
"We are talking about Lisbon, probably one of the capitals and one of the most expensive cities in Europe," he recalled.
Ricardo Penarroias said that the company has consolidated in Portugal, "even acquiring more slots that TAP ended up dropping due to the restructuring plan, but the truth is that, at this moment, the company has consolidated itself, consolidated its brand, with the help of the crews, who now have to have recognition of this".
He also said that no next round of negotiations with the company is scheduled for the time being and stressed "the union has never, at any time, ended negotiations".
"We understand the principle, we respect, that the company, at the time of a strike notice, assumes that it stops negotiating with the unions. We respect, we don't understand, because who in the end is harmed are the passengers," said the official.
He added that the company wants to give an image that there is no chaos at the airport, devaluing the strike and preferring to cancel flights, and noted that the strike has already had its impact because only minimum services are being carried out.
The easyJet cabin crew strike began today and will be repeated on 28 and 30 May and 1 and 3 June.
The strike covers "all flights by easyJet", as well as the "other services to which the cabin crew are assigned", whose "presentation hours occur in the national territory starting at 00:01 and end at 24:00 of each of the days", said the strike notice, released by the union.

Agency : LUSA

Date : 2023-05-27 03:12:00


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