The ITF LATAM Airlines Network of Unions would especially like to thank the ITF Americas office and Teamsters Local 769 of Miami for their support in Miami this weekend. Teamsters are members of the ITF, the International Federation of Transport Workers, representing 4.5 million transport workers around the world.
The ITF and Teamsters Local 769 shows their solidarity and gave support this past weekend to LAN Express flight attendants in Chile and LAN Peru mechanics. Teamsters and union representatives from South America passed out leaflets in Miami to over 7300 potential passengers warning them about possible delays and cancellations on LAN Airlines. “This event was very important for the Local Union to support and to participate in, considering the magnitude behind this and that south Florida is the gateway to Latin America” says Mike Scott- Principle Officer of Teamsters Local 769.
LAN Airlines is a sponsor of the Miami Sony Open tennis championships. Union leaders held banners and distributed leaflets to people attending the event. A plane flew overhead towing a simple message, “WARNING: LAN AIRLINE DELAYS”.
The company continues to obstruct the negotiations process with their unions. According to the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, “The airline is facing impasse with its unions, which is resulting in the delays of flights.”
Despite saying that standards should be the same within the airline group, the company is paying mechanics in other countries approximately twice as much as the LAN Peru mechanics for doing the same work. The company is trying to break the union. New mechanics hired on temporary contracts are being given permanent contracts if they agree to leave their union. Senior mechanics who leave the union receive a large payment from the company, at a rate of $450 USD for each year worked. The Peruvian Labour Ministry is investigating all three of the most recent firings of mechanics for unfair treatment. Despite this intense pressure, 80% of the mechanics continue to remain union members, showing strong support for the union negotiations of a collective contract.
LAN Express flight attendants in Chile are negotiating a collective agreement and are also hoping that their situation will be settled soon. The flight attendants were voting this last week on whether to strike the company. The votes were counted late Monday night with 91% voting for the strike. This is the only cabin crew union in the LATAM Airline Group that has not received a pay rise since 2010.
We are eager to see that the contracts for the flight attendants and mechanics will be resolved as soon as possible so that further disruptions can be avoided, particularly as the World Cup in Brazil begins in June 2014.