Labor groups win concessions in privatization of Portuguese national airline

MarketsAssociated Press

The successful bidder in the upcoming privatization of Portugal's national airline won't be able to make collective redundancies for at least two-and-a-half years after taking control.

The government, announcing Thursday the selection criteria of the planned sale, said it negotiated that and other sale conditions with most of TAP Air Portugal's labor groups.

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The trade unions were nervous about the sell-off, and five walkouts last year disrupted the flag carrier's flights and hurt profits. Some analysts say the company's payroll is bloated after seven decades of government management.

The government said additional sale criteria included the bid price, planned investment in the company, and airline experience.

The government intends to sell by July a 66 percent stake in the airline, with 5 percent of that going to its 7,500 staff.