The ITF has today (4 April) expressed its condemnation of dismissals at Chile national airline LAN, which merged with Brazilian TAM Airlines in December 2011 to form LATAM Airlines Group (LATAM).
In a letter to LAN senior vice president human resources Emilio del Real Soto, ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho urges the company to reinstate the workers immediately and enter into proper negotiations with their union, the LAN Cabin Workers’ Union (STCLA). He also declares that the ITF will warn other unions representing workers at LATAM of the wider implications of the dismissals.
Mocho cites reports received from ITF affiliated STCLA that on 3 April LAN fired 70 cabin crew from long-haul fleets based in Santiago. The company also offered transfers to LAN Express short-haul fleets to an additional 50 cabin crew who only joined LAN less than two months ago.
Mocho writes: “We condemn these brutal and unjust sackings, which appear to be the result of poor management planning which has led to unrealised route projections and the cancellation or transfer to other LATAM bases of routes and flights. In the last few months alone, the company had taken on many more cabin crew to fulfil the expected business needs arising from its incorporation of new aircraft, new routes and planned flight frequency increases.”
He continues: “They will raise doubts about the future of the LATAM merger, which STCLA had supported when LAN promised it would benefit the workforce. Trust in the merger is now undermined, as assurances to cabin crew that there will be no further sackings or transfers offer no solace to ground staff and other workers and unions in the company.
“Furthermore, due to this break down in trust, the ITF will urgently inform the unions representing workers at LATAM Airlines Group about the broken commitments made to STCLA workers. We will be advising them to take precautionary measures to avoid more redundancies in the LATAM Group.”