Civil aviation focus on Latin America and Caribbean

May 31, 2013

Affiliates at the ITF civil aviation regional conference in Buenos Aires on May 7-8 discussed labour issues in major airlines in Latin America and the Caribbean and created the first ITF pilots committee.

Representatives of ITF-affiliated unions in the region and special guest Enrique Carmona, president of the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) civil aviation committee, met to discuss labour violations, government limitations and restrictions which impede the professional development of workers, fare policies and unions’ commitment to develop proposals to tackle these issues.

Participants agreed the importance of negotiations with managers of major airlines, in order to promote the right to free association, equal remuneration, decent work and an end to labour discrimination. They discussed how to prevent labour rights violations, such as the mass dismissals of workers represented by ITF affiliate the Sindicato de Tripulantes de Cabina Lan Chile (STLCA), inequality in wages and benefits between union members and non-members, anti-union practices and the use of polygraphs.

Six countries in the region will participate in the newly-created ITF pilots committee. Diana Martínez, a pilot and board member of her union, the ITF-affiliated Asociación Colombiana de Aviadores Civiles, will be one of the representatives.

Gabriel Mocho, ITF civil aviation secretary, commented: "It was very evident during the conference how well civil aviation organisations in the region are developing. The experience gathered in the LATAM organising project is extending to the region and workers from the AviancaTACA airline group in Latin America will coordinate their strategies. In this way, we will take advantage of what we have built to keep growing."

Aviation unions in countries where the LATAM airline group operates are cooperating in protest at cabin crew sackings by the company’s Chilean and Ecuadorean subsidiaries and the ITF LATAM network promotes international solidarity with the workers. Read more here.

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