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Interjet workers still waiting for pay; new owner says payments coming Tuesday

Strike against the airline planned for Monday

Employees of the airline Interjet who haven’t been paid since September will receive some of the money they are owed next week, the budget carrier’s new owner said Friday.

Alejandro del Valle, who will officially be appointed Interjet president on Monday, told employees they will receive two fortnightly payments next Tuesday and three other quincenas, as the payments are known, later this month.

Del Valle had said that the employees would be paid two quincenas at the end of this week but that didn’t happen.

“He said ‘Thursday or Friday ‘I’ll transfer two [salary payments], another two on Monday or Tuesday and the last one [next] Friday,’” said one employee who attended a meeting with the new owner. “His word, being the only thing a human being has, is worth nothing.”

Del Valle previously pledged to pay employees some of the money they are owed at the start of November but failed to do so.

In a letter sent to employees on Friday, Del Valle said that he was unable to authorize the salary payments this week because he won’t officially take control of the airline until Monday.

In light of the situation, Interjet employees look set to go ahead with a strike planned for Monday. The workers’ union, section 15 of the Mexican Workers Confederation, said Friday that it supported job action given that its members haven’t been paid for 10 weeks.

Interjet has been plagued by a plethora of problems in 2020. The beleaguered airline, which has a large tax debt, canceled all its flights for two days at the start of November because it was unable to pay for fuel for its planes. The same thing happened last weekend.

In addition, the federal tax agency SAT placed an embargo on property belonging to the father of former Interjet president Miguel Alemán Magnani due to the airline’s unpaid tax bills, 25 of its leased aircraft were repossessed, the city of Chicago launched legal action against it for failing to pay taxes and fees owed to O’Hare International Airport, customers are preparing a class action suit against it over the constant cancellation of flights and its reimbursement practices and the Canadian Transportation Agency suspended its license to operate in Canada for failing to have liability insurance coverage.

One positive was that Del Valle and banker Carlos Cabal Peniche announced in July that they were providing US $150 million in capital for the airline. But Cabal subsequently decided to withdraw his share of the investment, leaving Del Valle as the sole new owner.

Source: Expansión (sp), Reforma (sp), El Universal (sp) 

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