TAP Portugal was forced to suspend the majority of short-haul services on 24-Nov-2010 as air traffic controllers joined the nationwide strike over a proposed austerity budget (Breaking Travel News/Bloomberg/euronews, 24-Nov-2010). A number of long-haul services were expected to operate. ANA-Aeroportos de Portugal SA reported most services departing from Lisbon and Oporto airports have been cancelled. Ryanair also cancelled 60 services in and out of Portugal. Private and public sector workers are expected to take part in the stoppage with industrial action expected to last for 24 hours.
The stoppage comes two days before the parliament in Lisbon is due to vote on an austerity budget which includes measures such as cutting wages for public sector workers, freezing pensions and increasing taxes. The budget aims to reduce the national deficit from 7.3% to 4.6% of GDP in 2011.
UGT: “It’s indisputable that today we need to fight the deficit, or face the penalty of having the IMF around, but it can’t be only the workers that pay the bill. If we fight the deficit by sinking the country, then we aren’t going anywhere, so it’s fundamental that there is concern about growth and employment.” Head of labour union UGT, Joao Proenca. Source: Bloomberg, 24-Nov-2010.