Published on Thursday, May 17, 2012

Portugal suffers more strikes

Flights to and from Portugal will be hit by a series of strikes starting from today.

Portuguese Air Traffic Controllers plan walk-outs today and tomorrow and on May 24 and 25.

The strikes will take place between 07:00 - 09:00, 14:00 - 16:00 and 21:00 - 23:00.

In addition, airport staff are planning 24-hour strike action tomorrow starting at midnight, which will extend the disruption into Saturday.

The Foreign Office is advising travellers to contact their travel company or airline for further information.

British Airways has adjusted its flight schedules in light of the action.

TAP Air Portugal has changed schedules and has cancelled some flights, but is switching passengers to alternative dates free of charge.

Ryanair has also cancelled flights but is allowing passengers to switch to earlier flights without charge.

Ryanair has condemned the strikes, saying it will mean cancellations and delays for thousands of passengers.

It repeated its call on the EU Commission to remove the right to strike from Europe’s ATC workers.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: "These public servants are among the most overpaid and protected in Europe and yet they repeatedly opt for the strike weapon as a first, rather than a last resort.

"The summer schedules in Europe are just weeks’ old and already the Portuguese Air Traffic Controllers will be engaging in three days of strikes. The solution to this problem is simple: remove their right to strike in exactly the same way that Air Traffic Controllers in the USA are prevented by law from striking."

by Bev Fearis

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