TAP is going to renew its fleet and as soon as it became known, the controversy started. The company says it has spent money to save money in the future, but workers and unions feel “betrayed” as they continue to fight for better working conditions.
What’s at stake?
The news comes from TVI/CNN Portugal and the Away portal that TAP has ordered a new fleet of BMW business cars to replace Peugeot’s.
What is the reason for the controversy?
Controversy broke out with the news because TAP’s bills weren’t the easiest and the company is still under a restructuring plan that led to the €3.2 billion injection into the airline – which the state wants to privatize again.
The new cars have a market value of 52 to 65 thousand euros.
How does TAP justify purchasing these cars?
In an internal statement from Lusa, TAP explains that the current fleet is largely from 2017 and will reach the maximum possible extensions in the contract next year. “TAP has a business fleet for the administration and management, on a rent operational. With the option we have made, we save up to 630 thousand euros annually, if we had kept the cars we have now,” says TAP in that statement, justifying the choice made.
But why BMW cars?
“We had no choice but to sign new contracts, we opted for hybrid vehicles plug ininstead of the current one dieselfor environmental reasons, but also because of the tax benefits that these less polluting vehicles entail,” according to the company’s note.
According to the company, “this option means a saving of more than 20% of the monthly rent and tax amount, related to new contracts of rent for vehicles with characteristics similar to the current ones (diesel), in line with the restructuring plan as it represents the lowest possible costs in terms of tendering on the market”, with “also better timeframes foreseen for the delivery of the vehicles”.
TAP justifies that there are 50 vehicles at stake, for which a tender has been launched in the market, inviting six entities to participate in the Portuguese market.
“The proposal chosen was the one with the lowest price., with a monthly income of 500 euros. As a reference, the other proposals submitted to TAP with a more competitive price included a monthly rent of 750 euros,” says TAP.
What do workers say?
The Civil Aviation Pilots Union suggested using the same “spend more to save” logic that the company championed in revamping its company vehicle fleet to restore workers’ working conditions.
“According to the rationale of the justification of those who chose to buy vehicles in this very sensitive time, which is based on miraculous savings, we propose the same logic of ‘spend more, save’ for the restoration of the dignity of workers” , is stated in the union notice.
The National Union of Civil Aviation Flight Persons considers the practice “morally objectionable”. For the union, it is “unacceptable” that “in addition to the management of TAP, the guardianship also constantly calls on its employees’ efforts for the survival of the company and news of ‘small luxuries’ comes to the public, on a cyclical way”.
“We want to believe that this decision, involving millions, to renew the fleet by the administration can only bring good news,” the statement said, stressing that this “presupposes availability to increase crew salaries, accompanied by the rise in inflation”.
Have there been any political reactions? Which?
One of the first reactions came from the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. The president pointed to TAP as “a common sense problem”. “I have spoken in the past with several public entities and regarding the payment of dividends and with regard to salaries and I understand that when you are in a difficult period you should try to set an example of curtailment,” he said. he.
Some parties have also reacted to the news, namely Chega. Party leader André Ventura announced that Chega will question the Ministry of Infrastructure about this purchase of luxury cars.
“In a moment of crisis such as we are experiencing now, we are going to ask ourselves what the justification is for having this kind of expense with an airline that the Portuguese saved with their taxes,” he said.
And the Left Bloc felt that TAP had ordered these cars “an insult” to the country. “What the TAP government has done to the country is an insult and I believe that the government, which represents the state at TAP, because it is the representative of the shareholders, deserves a huge reparation,” defended Pedro Filipe Soares, leader bloc parliamentarian.