Latam faces indefinite union strike in Chile

SANTIAGO – Latin America’s biggest airline is facing an indefinite strike by 270 workers of the Union Interempresa National of Workers of Latam Airlines (SINLATAM) in its base country of Chile.

The president of the Union, Sebastián Lobos said Friday that 270 workers would participate in this mobilization, where most “have been in the company for many years, especially in passenger and boarding.”

The strike involves workers in several areas of the Santiago airport, including counter and ticketing agents, who are demanding better working conditions, Emol media reported.

In that line, according to Cooperativa, Lobos stated that “the company, in the collective agreement that it signed with the pro-company union of the company, eliminated a whole locomotion radius that grouped all the Greater Santiago and obviously in the most peripheral communes, like Paine.”

He also explained that one of the requests has to do with wage improvements and working conditions, such as mobilization and avoiding night shifts for women who are mothers.

“There are a lot of airport staff who have to sleep at the airport to be able to get to their shift. The company is not going to look for them,” he added. For its part, the airline said that the mobilization will not produce “alterations to the itinerary of flights scheduled for this eventual strike”, adding that they are able to react as a company “to affect as little as possible the travel experience of their passengers.”

The company tweeted Friday that passengers should show up three hours ahead of international flights and two hours before national flights, as the strike could cause delays.

Latam has subsidiaries in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru. The subsidiaries were companies that Chile’s Lan operated in different countries under its flagship brand LAN. In August 2015 all LAN airlines, as well as Brazilian airline TAM, started to use the name LATAM.

The company operates a fleet of over 300 airplanes, taking passengers to more than 130 destinations in 24 countries, including the United States as well as countries in Asia and Europe.

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