Home Travel & Adventure Portugal’s Airport Workers Strike Amidst Holiday Pay Dispute

Portugal’s Airport Workers Strike Amidst Holiday Pay Dispute


Portway workers have initiated their second strike period, which will last for two days, with today, August 7, being the second and the last day for this period.

As Portugal News explains, workers employed by Portway, a company that serves easyJet as its primary customer, have completed the initial phase of their strike on both Sunday and Monday.

In his regard, the Union of Aviation and Airport Workers (Sitava) revealed that the strike saw a participation rate of approximately 30 per cent among the workers.

Yesterday, August 6, has started the second phase of the strike organised by various worker unions, including the Union of Merchant Marine Workers, Travel Agencies, Forwarding and Fishing Agencies (Simamevip), the Union of Aviation and Airport Workers (Sitava), the Airport Handling Technicians (STHA), and the Democratic Union of Airport and Aviation Workers (Sindav).

This strike follows a previous period of industrial action, and it is part of an ongoing labour dispute between these unions and Portway, which operates at airports and serves easyJet as its main customer.

Previously, these four Portway mentioned above jointly declared a comprehensive strike in Portugal. The strike was scheduled for specific dates: July 30 and 31, as well as August 5 and 6. In addition, they announced that starting from July 19, a strike would affect all overtime workers.

According to them, beginning August 1, the strike would also extend to impact holidays. Both strikes, involving overtime and holidays, were planned to continue indefinitely.

Moreover, the worker representatives have also announced plans for an indefinite strike on public holidays. The unions anticipate higher participation in this particular strike, as public holidays are seen as a pivotal aspect of the conflict between the workers and the company.

The ongoing strike and labour dispute between the worker unions and Portway appears to revolve around the interpretation and application of the Company Agreement (AE2020). As the unions explain, this agreement stipulates that work performed on a public holiday, which is considered a typical working day, should result in a 50 per cent increase in corresponding remuneration.

However, the unions contend that after eight months of implementing this agreement, the company unilaterally altered the method of calculating holiday payments, which goes against the agreed-upon spirit of the deal.

On the other hand, Portway has stated that it fully adheres to the Company Agreement (AE) concerning work on public holidays. The company claims it does not see valid grounds for the strike and emphasises its strict compliance with the agreement’s provisions.

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