Argentina’s air traffic controllers denounce CBA breach

July 26, 2017

Air traffic controllers in Argentina represented by ITF union ATEPSA – the Asociación de Técnicos y Empleados de Protección y Seguridad a la Aeronavegación – are to take go slow action because of labour rights violations and the failure of state company EANA SE to respect their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

In a statement delivered on 21 July, ATEPSA denounced the breach of the CBA and the violation of ILO Conventions 87 and 98 on freedom of association and the right to organise. It said EANA SE refused to increase wages in line with inflation and the increased workload during the last two years, and criticised the company’s unilateral decision to transfer a Control Center Area, without providing any information regarding the impact on workers and the service.

ATEPSA has also condemned as unfair the dismissal of Ezequiel Rojas, a worker hired on a fixed contract who was sacked when he approached the union. The company refuses to change the employment status of the many workers on this type of contract – which treats the worker as self-employed, with no employment benefits – and is continuing to hire controllers in this way. These contracts are not covered by the CBA so violate ILO Convention 98 on the right to organise and collective bargaining, which Argentina has ratified.

Antonio Rodríguez Fritz, ITF Americas regional secretary, said: “These labour violations must stop. The company must respect the CBA and respond to the concerns over working conditions that are presented by the union. ATEPSA will continue to receive the solidarity of the ITF and its unions in their legitimate actions.”

The ITF’s civil aviation secretary, Gabriel Mocho Rodríguez, commented that it was vital that EANA SE sat down with the union to reach an agreement on these issues, as the air traffic service was essential for civil aviation safety and needed a labour environment of respect and social peace.

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