Chairman of the board of directors, Alfredo Casimiro, said that the company is not in a position to pay at the moment
The Transport Workers Union of Portugal (STTAMP) denounced today that the approximately 2,400 Groundforce workers are being informed by the company that February wages will not be paid in the next few days.
"It is unfortunate that this situation has not been transmitted to organizations representing workers in prior communication in the face of such a serious scenario", underlines the union in a statement, stressing that the payment of wages is not foreseen in the next 15 days.
In the letter addressed to the workers, to which Lusa had access, the chairman of Groundforce's board of directors, Alfredo Casimiro, said that the company is not in a position to pay February wages at the moment without the loan process being concluded. Bank officer.
"In a transparent way, and using some prudence, we foresee that this situation will only be resolved and unblocked in the next 15 days, so, with the elements that we have at this time, only then will we be able to pay the month's wages February ", says Alfredo Casimiro.
The company's president says that until now Groundforce has managed to survive with the support of TAP, fulfilling the minimum obligations through advances on services and to be provided in the future.
TAP informed that it was unable to grant the usual aid
However, “TAP's Board of Directors informed today [quinta-feira] it is not possible for them to grant this aid, which, we believe, would be the last one before the contracting of the State-guaranteed bank loan ”, says Alfredo Casimiro in the letter.
Today, in a statement, STTAMP recalled that Groundforce “is a company in the TAP group with a 49.9% shareholding by the airline, which is why it is surprising that, since the airline is in a state financial aid program, it will pass on the their financial difficulties directly in a company of the group, in the form of non-payment of the remunerations of about 2,400 workers ”.
It also underlines that, unlike TAP, Groundforce recorded operating profits on December 31, 2019, having been, within the scope of its activity heavily affected by the covid-19 pandemic.
According to STTAMP, workers "do not conform, nor accept that the payment of workers 'wages may be hostage to the shareholders' business strategies, aggravated by the fact that neither the TAP nor the private shareholder, during all these months, sought solutions to ensure the financial sustainability of Groundforce ".
The company, recalls the union, was forced at the beginning of the pandemic outbreak to eliminate hundreds of jobs for workers who had recently been hired.
Workers have suffered "hard" wage cuts in the last year
The union recalls that for about a year Groundforce workers faced severe wage reductions, among other measures that were being implemented to ensure the company's financial balance and future sustainability.
"The situation of non-payment of wages in February will have a social impact of enormous impact, with consequences that have yet to be quantified, exponentially aggravating the difficulties that have been felt in the thousands of families of these workers for months", it is mentioned in the note .
In view of this situation, the unions representing the company's workers will meet urgently on Saturday to develop jointly the necessary actions in order to demand immediate responses and solutions either by the company's management or by the shareholders.
"The Portuguese State will also be confronted with this situation, which will also be responsible for promoting a resolution that allows a solution to be found for the problem", the union also indicates.