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ITF urges Chile president to act ahead of air action

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The ITF HQ's in London

The ITF HQ’s in London

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has urged the president of Chile to act to stave off the need for industrial action across Chile tomorrow.

If tomorrow’s planned action takes place, it is likely to affect the civil aviation sector right across the country – even including Easter Island and Antarctica (where it would be the first industrial action to take place on that continent)

For eight years the ITF-affiliated Asociación Nacional de Funcionarios de la Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (ANFDGAC) has been negotiating through a tripartite task force over social provisions for workers represented by its affiliate, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation. However, the task force – which involved the ministry of national defence and the general directorate of civil aviation – wound up on 2 July, despite there being no concrete results.

In his letter to Chilean president Michelle Bachelet Jeria, ITF general secretary Steve Cotton said the union believed it had acted in good faith and with patience throughout the talks and had sought “direct, honest dialogue and mutual respect to solve the issues”.

He wrote: “After these considerations, and in the face of the refusal to abide by article 21 of law 16.752, that protects them, and to respect the agreements that have been pursued … the workers see themselves obligated to exercise their right as defined by the principles of conventions 87 and 98 of the International Labour Organization, ratified by the Republic of Chile.

“ANFDGAC, respectful of the democratic decision of its affiliates and after being affected by these provisional conditions for many years, is bound to exercise its rights and convoke industrial action on 15 September. It strongly regrets this and requests that, considering the democracy and the constitutional rule of law that prevails in Chile, the workers are able to undertake their union activities in peace, according to national legislation and international agreements ratified by Chile. It is important to mention that safety is their main commitment, which is corroborated by the high level of security in Chile’s air space.”

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