PIlots at Portugal’s TAP airline cancel strikes
Pilots at Portugal's state TAP airline have cancelled strike action over internal disputes planned for Thursday, the Spac union which represents civil aviation pilots said on Wednesday.
Two strikes due to take place July 5-8 and August 1-5, during the peak tourist season, were dropped.
“Given the dialogue that has opened up over the last few days, the pilots have decided to cancel the two planned strikes,” said Spac in a statement.
A working group representing pilots, TAP administration and the government would be set up to resolve the conflict, the statement said.
Pilots had demanded that disciplinary procedures undertaken against some of them be dropped as well as the departure of two members of management.
TAP, which is due to be privatised before the end of the year as part of an international bailout, said the walkout would have affected 320,000 passengers and cost the company 65 million euros ($81 million).
But the announcement of the strikes meant 14,000 tickets were cancelled or went unsold, the company said.
Tourism operators had called on strikers to suspend their action, fearing the sector would take a significant hit as holidaymakers head to southern Europe’s beaches.
Earlier on Wednesday Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho called for dialogue between the parties to avoid “irreparable and very significant damage”.
Air traffic controllers due to stage a series of partial strikes to protest restructuring at the weekend also called off their action.
Portugal is locked into a three-year programme of debt-cutting measures and economic reforms in return for a 78-billion-euro ($103 billion) rescue package from the EU and International Monetary Fund agreed in May 2011.