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Faro Airport criticized for fighting virus with “lay-offs left, right and centre”

Published on 13/04/2020

It is “unacceptable and condemnable to take advantage of the epidemic outbreak to liquidate labour rights, reduce wages and lay off workers” at Faro Airport said a representative of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP).

The Secretariat of the Regional Organization of the Algarve (DORAL) of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) denounced that at Faro Airport, one of the main employers in the region and on which a significant part of the regional economy depends, there are “wild redundancies” and a trampling of workers’ rights since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

In a statement sent out to press on Thursday last week, the PCP speaks of “attacking the rights of hundreds of workers from the various companies operating at Faro Airport, where, apparently, the law of the jungle came into force in regards to industrial relations, making the impacts of privatization carried out in the airline sector (either partially TAP or ANA) by the PSD/CDS government even more evident”.

In the set of these measures, “the cold dismissal, with the sending of dozens of e-mails to workers on fixed-term contracts with uncertain terms, standing out with enormous gravity, as well as the the layoff situation imposed by TAP, Prossegur, Ryanair, Groundforce or Portway, a company whose main shareholder is ANA/VINCI (which has the Faro Airport concession) and which obtained net profits of 871.1 million euros euros between the years 2013 to 2018”.

“It should also be noted that there are hundreds of workers who are hired on a temporary basis every year for Faro Airport and who, under the current circumstances, are not being called upon”, underlines the statement. The PCP, therefore, “condemns cuts in wages, the transfer to Social Security (including by companies that have earned hundreds of millions of euros in profits in recent years) of layoff costs, forced vacations, wild dismissals, in a a period in which each worker and their family most need support and material conditions for their survival”.

Thus, the communists demand from the government “the immediate intervention that stops and reverses the offensive against the workers’ rights at Faro Airport that has been carried out”. The PCP also stresses that the solution that is demanded “is the prohibition of dismissals and the payment of wages to 100%. An option that is not only necessary to respond to the social drama that has now taken place, but also determinant, for the economic recovery that the Algarve and the country will need to develop”.

The PCP appeals to all workers already affected by layoffs to not lower their spirits, that they overcome fears, that they do not entertain fantasies that are being sold to them about future returns, that they join and resist in the face of the ongoing offensive that aims only to protect the profits of large companies. For the PCP, “it is just as crucial to combat the COVID-19 epidemic outbreak as unemployment and the reduction of workers’ income and rights”