UPDATE 1-Portugal imposes layoff ban in TAP airline privatisation

jueves 15 de enero de 2015 10:33 GYT

* Ban on layoffs for at least 30 months

* State to keep 34 pct stake

* Other conditions include keeping base in Portugal (Adds quotes, other conditions of sale)

By Andrei Khalip

LISBON, Jan 15 (Reuters) - The future buyer or buyers of Portugal's flag carrier TAP will be barred from laying off workers en masse as long as the state remains a shareholder, the government said on Thursday.

The Portuguese government set the condition after talks with the unions who last month threatened a crippling strike over Christmas, forcing it to invoke special labour requisition powers to prevent the stoppage.

The government plans to sell its 66 percent controlling stake in TAP, but will retain a 34 percent stake that can be sold off two years after the privatisation.

"The agreement (with the unions) guarantees that there will be no collective layoffs for a certain period of time - for 30 months or as long as the state has a stake in the company after this privatisation, whatever is the longest," said the state secretary for transport, Sergio Monteiro.

At a cabinet meeting on Thursday, the government approved a prospectus with conditions for TAP privatisation, which also include preserving TAP's status as the Portuguese flag carrier and keeping the headquarters and main hub in Lisbon.   Continuación...