Union federation for aviation reestablished in Argentina

April 4, 2012

A union federation covering the aviation industry in Argentina has been reinstated decades after it was crushed by the country’s last military dictatorship.

The Federación Argentina del Personal Aeronáutico (FAPA) was inaugurated at an event in Buenos Aires on 27 March, which coincided with the celebration of aviation workers’ day. Edgardo Llano, general secretary of the ITF-affiliated Asociación del Personal Aeronáutico and vice chair of the ITF’s civil aviation section ground staff committee, was elected president of the federation for a two-year term.

Other positions within the federation were taken up by unionists from other ITF affiliates: Ruben Fernandez of the Unión del Personal Superior y Profesional de Empresas Aerocomerciales (press secretary); Ricardo Frecia from the ITF-affiliated Aeronavegantes Association of Argentina (vice president) and Jorge Perez Tamayo of the Asociación de Pilotos de Líneas Aéreas (secretary of social affairs).

The objectives of the federation include working on building a commercial air transport policy, taking a stand against open skies policies and protecting the domestic airline industry. Its other aims covered areas such as promoting the activity of the sector and making joint claims.

Also participating in the meeting were the minister for labour Carlos Tomada, the coordination and management undersecretary for the ministry of planning, Roberto Baratta and other representatives of the national executive.

Llano said: "After the recovery of Aerolineas Argentinas, Austral and Intercargo, under this government, we convinced Tomada that we need to reinstate the federation, which had been destroyed by the last military dictatorship. The government committed to it, we committed to it and now it is a reality. We want to discuss aviation policy as legitimate actors – we will do all this together and face up to the challenges ahead."

Gabriel Mocho, ITF civil aviation section secretary, who was at the event, said: "Argentina’s economy is recovering rapidly, so it’s essential that the country can count on a strong transport network. The unions are ready to discuss the transport policy that will make this possible. The ITF will continue supporting these developments to ensure that the voice of the workers is heard."

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