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May 31, 2023

Flights at Lisbon Airport Also Grounded by Strikes

Inspectors of the Foreigners and Border Services (SEF) have entered a five-hour strike yesterday morning, which was fully attended by workers.

According to the local news, the attendance of the strike, which started at 05.00 am, dropped to 90 per cent between 07:00 am and 10:00 am, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The president of the Union of Investigation, Inspection and Borders Inspectors (SIIFF), Renato Mendonça, said that during the strike, 3,000 to 4,000 arrivals had made it to the Lisbon airport, while this number was expected to increase by the end of the industrial action.

“Eventually, it could mean a few hours of waiting for people. [For] those who are further ahead, less time, [for] those who are arriving last and who will arrive by 10:00, it will effectively be a few hours of waiting,” he told Lusa.

The union leader pointed out that a 24-hour strike would have been held if the intention was for the action to convey a stronger message. He says that the initial intention was to demonstrate indignation by minimising the impact of the arrivals and air traffic.

The strike called by the SIIFF is expected to run throughout all of June at the Portuguese airports and border posts.

SEF inspectors are dealing with uncertainty surrounding as the Government last month approved the decree-law establishing the transition regime for SEF workers following the restructuring process.

The strikes at Humberto Delgado Airport began yesterday (May 22), from 05.0 am until 10.00 am, as well as on the following dates:

  • May 27 to May 29
  • June 3 to June 5
  • June 10 to June 12
  • June 17 to June 19
  • June 24 to June 26

As per strikes at other airports such as Porto, Faro, and Madeira, the strike is scheduled to last 24 hours and will be held on the following dates:

  • May 22
  • May 29
  • June 5
  • June 12
  • June 19
  • June 26

Strike in these places will last longer, as the union points out that the impact in terms of constraints is not so great.

In addition to Lisbon, workers at Air Europa airline in Spain have entered a strike in protest against the Ministry of Transport applying a law that requires 90 per cent of all flights being operated, regardless of the workers being on strike.

Pilots of Air Europa are protesting for their right to strike, also saying that the management is earning profits by increasing ticket prices, while these raises don’t reflect on workers’ salaries.