Commenting on this week’s warning actions by workers of the LATAM airline across Latin America, ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho said: “A World Cup warning has been well and truly sounded. This week’s actions are a push for fairness across the airline and a taste of what could happen in the World Cup if serious inequalities are not addressed.”
He continued: “Under the slogan ‘We are all LAN Peru’, LATAM workers have been expressing their support for their colleagues in Peru, where a strike next week has now become much more likely, following the management’s refusal to remedy dramatic inequalities of pay. Meanwhile in Argentina unions are struggling for a decent collective bargaining agreement.
“Last month the ITF network of LATAM unions warned the company that a failure to restart pay negotiations, stalled since late 2013, with Peruvian unions, could result in industrial action and cause flight delays or cancellations during the tournament.”
Mocho continued: “The core of the problem is the fact that LATAM is paying mechanics working for LAN Peru around half of those employed by them to do the same job in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The 55, 000 workers across the group want to see this injustice brought to an end.”
He concluded: “LATAM workers don’t want to strike during the World Cup but they have had enough. The ball is now in the company’s court. If they won’t listen to us maybe they’ll listen to the sound of their share price falling and the questions put by passengers about what’s going to happen during the tournament. Because if the company’s regional management continues to refuse to engage in direct talks with the unions, the workers feel they have little choice but to take industrial action.”
Regional aviation giant LATAM is the result of the merger in 2012 of LAN, the Chilean flag carrier, and TAM, Brazil’s biggest airline. The group operates in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru, and is represented by TAM in Brazil.
The Facebook page for the ITF LATAM network is: www.facebook.com/pages/Latam-