Pasogal guarantees payment of Groundforce's May wages “in the next few days”

Pasogal, the main shareholder of Groundforce, guaranteed this Monday that the payment of May wages in the handling company will be carried out in the “next days”, after having warned that the insolvency request made by TAP could delay payments.

Speaking to Lusa, a source at Pasogal, of Alfredo Casimiro, the main shareholder of the ground handling airport assistance company, today said that the “May wages” payment will be made “in the next few days”, but he stressed that “the last day of the month is on Monday “.

Groundforce considered on May 18 that TAP’s insolvency application leaves the company in “total strangulation” and could lead to its operational disruption, destroying the efforts that have been made to save it.

With the bankruptcy filing, all the efforts we have made to save the company fall apart. […] At the precise moment of resumption of activity, it can lead to the operational disruption of the company, by drastically affecting the relationship with its customers, but, above all, with its suppliers, who, in view of this decision, are considering suspending supplies if there are no payments. in advance or ready “, said the President of the Board of Directors (CA) of SPdH / Groundforce, Alfredo Casimiro, in a statement.

On May 10, TAP requested, as “creditor”, the insolvency of Groundforce “before the Lisbon Commercial Courts of the Lisbon District Judicial Court”, justifying that the objective of the action passes through, “if this is feasible “, safeguarding” its viability and sustainability, ensuring its operational activity at Portuguese airports “.

Groundforce considered that an insolvency proceeding not only “does not leave everything the same”, but leaves Groundforce in a situation of “total strangulation”, having therefore written to the Minister of Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, in the sense to sensitize him “to the fact that this decision contributes a lot to the worsening of the company’s situation”.

The majority shareholder of the handling company warned that the operational disruption could jeopardize the payment of May wages to workers, hitherto safeguarded, “to hinder the sale operation that is underway with several international players in the sector”, to block “access to short-term financing from banks, with special emphasis on Caixa Geral de Depósitos”, as well as harming TAP, “which, being both a shareholder and a creditor, will be the last entity to receive what is due to it after insolvency “.

Groundforce also said that the insolvency application submitted by the shareholder TAP “puts at risk and unnecessarily hinders both the ongoing negotiations and the objective of finding a solution to the problems that the company faces”, also putting in question its 2,400 jobs.

Alfredo Casimiro added that, in the letter sent to Minister Pedro Nuno Santos, he reiterated his “total availability to find a solution capable of protecting workers, shareholders and the country”, having asked for support for this.

It should be noted that any insolvency solution will lead to the creation of a Groundforce II, which, of course, will opt for the younger and more qualified workers, to the detriment of older workers, more associated health problems, more years at home and with less qualifications “, stressed the shareholder of Pasogal.

Groundforce is 50.1% owned by Pasogal and 49.9% by the TAP group, which in 2020 became 72.5% owned by the Portuguese State and which is a minority shareholder and the main client of the company that provides assistance at Lisbon, Porto, Faro, Funchal and Porto Santo airports.

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