Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Aeroméxico, pilots reach agreement, avert strike

A strike planned for today by Aeroméxico pilots has been avoided after their union reached an agreement with the airline for improved pay and conditions.

It is the second time this week that a scheduled work stoppage has been averted after the Association of Airline Pilots (ASPA) agreed to a request from federal Labor Secretary Roberto Campa to defer action planned for Monday.

Pilots at the center of the dispute — so-called “B Contract” pilots who started working for Aeroméxico after 2010 — told a press conference that ASPA accepted on their behalf the 5.15% salary increase offered by the airline and an agreement was made to review salaries again next year.

A wholesale review of the B contract, which sets salaries and benefits 40% lower than those received by pilots who commenced employment before 2010, was scheduled for 2020.

“The [union] assembly took the more institutional, more structured route. We decided not to go on strike,” said ASPA secretary general Rafael Díaz Covarrubias.

Aeroméxico employs 1,100 pilots, of whom around 52% are on A contracts and 48% have B contracts.

ASPA agreed to the inferior pay and conditions for “B Contract” pilots in 2010 when the global financial crisis was still affecting the airline industry but has argued that the economic situation of the sector in 2018 is completely different and that the wage and benefits disparity should end.

Díaz said while the inequity remains, the dispute will drag on.

“The pilots are still upset but they have chosen to take the peaceful route and not strike. We don’t want to impact the airline or passengers,” he said.

Aeroméxico representative Miguel Carballo said that 45 contract clauses had been reviewed and that the company will continue to work to “reduce the gap and arrive at the same conditions for all pilots.”

Labor Secretary Campa later offered a brief statement to the media in which he said that the government was happy that strike action was avoided.

“These have been days of great pressure for passengers who didn’t know if they were going to travel, for the authorities that have been involved and it’s been an enormous pressure for these two organizations: the company and the union, who have worked very hard, each in defense of their interests and their rights . . .” he said.

Aeroméxico said in a statement that the airline’s operations would proceed as normal today, adding that “it is proud of its pilots and all of its employees, with whom it will continue to work to strengthen their development.”

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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