The Ministry of Labor summoned Latam Airlines Argentina and to the aeronautical unions to a hearing for next Wednesday, July 8, within the framework of the preventive crisis procedure (PPC) requested by the airline on June 17.
Through this process, the company seeks to settle the severance of 1,715 employees after the announcement of the cessation of its domestic flights operation and the closure of the local subsidiary. At the hearing between the parties, to be held on July 8 at 11 a.m., Job must define whether or not to approve the PPC order.
For now, the labor portfolio also issued an opinion, in which it reminds the company that governs decree 329/2020, extended by 487/2020, which prohibits dismissals for lack or reduction of work or reasons of force majeure.
Everything seems to indicate that the hearings carried out within the framework of this process will not be easy. The five unions with union status (APLA, APTA, APA, UPSA and AAA) summoned to the hearing they already rejected in the briefs presented in Work the request for the opening of the PPC of the company, in general, for two reasons.
The first is that, precisely, they argue, decrees 329 and 487/2020 are in force, which prohibit dismissals, as Latam’s job portfolio now reminded him. Second, they all rejected Latam’s arguments about the responsibility of the unions. in the decision to stop operating in the cabotage market, since, they argued, the company’s management was guilty of starting to register losses in its balance sheets since 2016, when operating the majority of its international flights (a market led by number of passengers) with other subsidiaries of the group; Thus, they said, it acted for the benefit of the holding company, to the detriment of the local subsidiary.
While, Although the company adduces that several reasons weighed on its decision, in a long letter submitted to the labor portfolio, the company highlights, especially, the difficult relationship with the unions during their 15 years in the country. AND stresses that it was unable to advance in negotiations with unions to achieve temporary suspensions of employees with salary reductions of 50%, in a context where, due to the pandemic, there was no income. The labor portfolio had also intimidated her to pay 100% of wages the same day that her parent Latam Airlines Group announced that she was filing for bankruptcy in the United States to restructure her debt.
The remaining unions (UPAL, ATCPEA and USTARA) have only simple registration and cannot participate in joint or other negotiations in the workplace. Therefore, they were not called to the hearing.
UPAL (Latam pilots) had submitted a request for Labor to enable it to participate, but the labor portfolio rejected that request, arguing that the Collective Bargaining Law No. 14,250 states that “..the collective labor agreements that are concluded between an employers’ association, an employer or a group of employers and a union association with union status … “, thus excluding those who have mere registration, such as UPAL. In this case, APLA (Association of Airline Pilots) is the union authorized to negotiate on behalf of the pilots, since it has union status.
Now, hard meetings in the Ministry of Labor between the parties are predicted.