Written by Daniela Soares Ferreira and Sonia Perez Pinto
Groundforce creditors will face millions in debt if TAP’s insolvency application proceeds. The airline is a major shareholder, with overdue debts of around €16.4 million on June 30. ANA (12.8 million euros), Prosegor (177 thousand euros), Iberlin (140 thousand euros), UCS (125 thousand euros), Klimex (126 thousand euros), MEO (52 thousand euros) and Jorist (49 thousand euros). Montepio can also be left empty-handed. As Nascer do SOL advances, the financial institution has hired a financial intermediary – China Investment Bank Bison Bank (which has obtained the Banif Banking License – Banco de Investimento) – to sell the shares it holds in Groundforce, freeing up the Credit Recovery Department of a bank led by Pedro Letao to take on that responsibility. . But our newspaper knows that these bonds, it seems, may fall into bad credit.
On the table is a court decision declaring the processing company bankrupt. A solution that, according to TAP, should be “temporary”, but, in her view, “better restore confidence in the management of the ground force.”
The airline also explains that the court’s decision “does not, in and of itself, establish the automatic termination of employment contracts for SPdH workers nor the permanent suspension of contracts for the provision of services by Groundforce, including ground handling services, to TAP.”
Who was not satisfied with this news was Alfredo Casemiro. The head of the handling company guarantees that he will appeal the decision. “This decision is incomprehensible and unacceptable,” said the president and largest shareholder of Groundforce, which was declared bankrupt by the Lisbon District Court on Wednesday, leaving heavy criticism to the judge, the government and TAP.
“By accepting the debtor’s request and not the creditor, the court sets a precedent that Basugal considers inadmissible and makes the decision itself incomprehensible. For this reason, since the company has no debts to the IRS, Social Security or banks, this decision should be challenged before a higher court,” he said in a statement. .
Sitema – the union of aircraft maintenance technicians – has also announced that it has advanced to the first stage of its legal dispute with TAP, by filing an injunction whose main goal is to suspend the collective dismissal. “The injunction was entered into the Lores Labor Court on August 2, pending the scheduling of the final hearing at all times, which must take place within 15 days from the date of entry, as it is an urgent process,” he said.
The structure also said it defends that the inclusion of aircraft maintenance technicians (TMA), members of this union, in the airline’s collective dismissal “violates the temporary emergency agreement entered into between the parties on February 6, 2021, in particular the temporary emergency agreement entered into between the parties.” provisions of Clause 7, according to which the TMA has agreed, in addition to the general reduction of wages of 25%, approved under Clause 6, an extraordinary reduction of the normal working period in exchange for the guarantee, which TAP freely and in good faith presumes to protect the jobs of the Saitma members.”
He also argues that “violating this agreement makes the dismissal of members of this union unlawful.”
‘Worst year ever recorded’
2020 was the ‘worst year ever recorded’ for the aviation sector, which is guaranteed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), after suffering a 60.2% drop in passengers and 69% in revenue compared to the previous year. In the face of the epidemic, last year, only 1.8 billion passengers flew, which is a 60.2% decrease compared to 4.5 billion in 2019, while the drop in demand for air travel was more pronounced and fell by 65.9%.
However, taking into account only international demand, the decline amounted to 75.6%, while the decline in the domestic market was less severe, with demand falling by 48.8% compared to 2019. And the numbers do not stop there. Last year, revenue fell 69% to $189 billion (€159.26 billion), with a net loss of $126.4 billion ($106.52 billion), due to the effects of the pandemic.
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