TAP Portugal's pilots' union is demanding control of up to 20 percent of the company compared to the 5 percent being offered to employees by the authorities, according to the news outlet. The union has also cited inadequate working conditions as a reason for the protest.
The strike, staged after a series of failed talks on the matter, could cost the Portuguese economy over $334 million, including $78-million in losses for the airline, according to government estimates.
In 2011, Portugal agreed on a bailout deal with the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. Under the $87-billion deal, the country's government undertook to sell its national assets to private owners, including the state airline, TAP Portugal.