An order, dated 16 August, signed by the Secretaries of State Alberto Souto de Miranda (Infrastructure and Communications) and Miguel Cabrita (Employment), states that on the days when the National Union of Civil Aviation Personnel (SNPVAC) are on strike, workers are obliged to provide services on several flights.
The minimum services include a daily return flight between Lisbon and Paris; between Lisbon and Berlin; between Porto and Cologne; between Lisbon and London; between Lisbon and Ponta Delgada, as well as a round-trip service between Lisbon and Terceira Island (Lajes), on 21, 23 and 25 August.
"The staff to carry out these services will be designated by the union that declared the strike, up to 24 hours before the beginning of the strike period or, if it does not do so, the employer must make such a designation", determines the order.
The law justifies the determination of these minimum services, starting with the "relatively long duration of the strike (five days)", the "season of the year - summer - in which there is a considerable growth in demand for air transport, and also the fact that it is important "to avoid crowding of passengers in airports during the summer months, since this may increase risks to the safety of people and goods".
There are significant communities of Portuguese emigrants in England, France and Germany, for whom August is typically the month chosen to visit their families in Portugal.
The SNPVAC union stated on 1 August that the strike covers all Ryanair flights between 00:00 and 23:59 of the days scheduled for the shutdown as well as ground handling services and any other task on the ground.
In a statement issued at the time, SNPVAC declared the reason for the strike was that Ryanair "continues to fail to comply with the rules imposed by Portuguese legislation, in particular as regards the payment of holiday and Christmas bonuses, the number of days of holidays and the integration into the workforce of cabin crew members employed through the Crewlink and Workforce agencies".