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Portugal's TAP cabin crew call off strike after reaching agreement

FILE PHOTO: A TAP Air Portugal Airlines A330 plane taxis at Lisbon's airport

LISBON (Reuters) - Cabin crew at Portugal's TAP airline have called off a strike that would have forced the cancellation of 1,316 flights between Jan. 25-31 after reaching an agreement with the airline, the SNPVAC union said on Monday.

"There was an agreement but there is still a lot of dissatisfaction," union president Ricardo Penarroias told reporters after a general assembly.

The union had called the seven-day walkout to demand higher wages and better working conditions.

Penarroias said TAP met 12 and a half of the union's 14 demands. According to him the airline failed to improve job contracts he described as "precarious" and did not add an additional crew member on long-haul flights.

"Problems did not disappear just because there was an agreement ... at the slightest slip we will return to the fight," Penarroias said.

TAP did not immediately react to the union's decision to call off the strike.

TAP said on Thursday that as a result of the strike they would have to cancel 1,316 flights, affecting nearly 160,000 passengers and costing them about 48 million euros ($52.11 million) in revenue.

The state-owned airline is under an EU-approved 3.2 billion euro bailout plan, which included the reduction of its fleet, the cutting of more than 2,900 jobs and lowering most workers' wages by up to 25%.

The union had called a previous walkout on Dec. 8-9, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights and affecting thousands of passengers just before the holiday season.

($1 = 0.9211 euros)

(Reporting by Patrícia Vicente Rua; Editing by Catarina Demony and Grant McCool)