29 June 2014 – Peru aviation mechanics have unanimously approved the proposal for a new contract with the airline group, averting a planned strike – but Argentinian cabin crew are still seeking justice in their dealings with LATAM.
The new agreement won by Peruvian mechanics and their union SITALANPE was voted on and approved by members. The four-year collective agreement ushers in improvements in salaries and working conditions.
Oscar Angosto, secretary general of SITALANPE explained that this agreement will help set a higher standard for Peruvian workers in multinational companies who are not being paid the same as those in other countries. “We are proud of our union and proud of each one of us who stayed determined through this long struggle, ” he said.
Juan Carlos Talavera, SITALANPE press secretary added: “LAN Peru aviation mechanics have demonstrated our ability to work hard for what is best for us as workers, for our families, for our union, and to
improve aviation standards in the region. SITALANPE will continue to lead the struggle to improve working conditions for all aviation workers in South America.”
Meanwhile, LAN Argentina cabin crew are preparing for possible strike action. Since 2005, when the company began operations in Argentina, LAN has refused to sign a collective agreement to regulate cabin crew working conditions.
LAN Argentina cabin crew face a regime of multiple different individual work agreements or ‘pacts’, which prevent them from working with the support and protection of a collective work agreement that has the force of law, and provides equal working conditions to all the flight attendants.
LAN Argentina cabin crew are the only workers in the company that remain under these multiple individual pacts, which can be modified at any moment by a manager or the company.
Natalia Fontana, press secretary of the Asociación Argentina de Aeronavegantes stated: “The flight attendants of Argentina hold LAN Argentina responsible for the inconvenience that could be produced in the upcoming days if there is not a constructive change from the company in this area.”
Dario Castillo, president of the LAN Chile union of mechanics added: “We are working together in all of our countries for improvements, for all the LAN and TAM Airlines ground staff, cabin crew, and mechanics. We support the struggle of the LAN Argentina flight attendants for a collective agreement.”
Dina Feller, Coordinator of the ITF LATAM Network of Unions states, “The new agreement of SITALANPE has the potential to bring the Peru aviation mechanics closer to equality within the industry. The company clearly has the skill to negotiate fair agreements when they want to. We have seen this with the recent collective agreement with the Chilean flight attendants union at LAN Express, and the collective agreement with the ground staff union of Brazil. In Paraguay, the company recently committed to only hire Paraguayan flight attendants and pilots. And now we have a fair agreement in Peru with the mechanics. The question that is before all of us, is why the company refuses to allow a collective agreement for the LAN Argentina flight attendants.”