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Aeromexico pilots threaten strike over benefit removal, airline says is false

Mexico City, Mexico — Pilots of Aerovías de México (Aeromexico) belonging to the General Assembly of the Trade Union Association of Aviator Pilots of Mexico (ASPA) unanimously agreed to strike after pilot benefits were revoked.

The strike notice, which has been set for October 1, is over the airline’s decision to fire three pilots involved in the runway crash in Durango in July. One of the pilots, who was reportedly a pilot in training, briefly served as a copilot during the takeoff of that flight.

Although no mechanical or human error was found and the crash blamed on weather conditions, Aeromexico fired the three pilots and announced new rules for crew, including the elimination of pilots flying free inside the cabin.

Aeromexico reports that the copilot was not authorized by the company to serve as copilot. In a statement, the union said “Aeromexico decided unilaterally to suspend the benefit of crew flying in cabin, among other violations of the collective contract, affecting a critical clause for around 2,400 pilots.”

The Trade Union Association of Aviator Pilots of Mexico said that the benefit to fly free in the cabin is critical for pilots who use it to travel from their homes to the airline’s base.

In a statement released Tuesday by Aeromexico, they said that they have not been notified of any alleged violations of the Collective Labor Agreement (CCT) and that reports of them withdrawing the crewmember traveling in cabin benefit is false.

“The assertion that the company has committed a violation of the CCT with the Trade Union Association of Aviator Pilots of Mexico (ASPA) is false, since it did not withdraw its pilots of the provision of Crewmember Traveling in Cabin (TVC). They, like the rest of the eligible crew members, continue to use this benefit today,” the airline said in a statement.

“The company reiterates its respect for the labor rights of all its employees and expresses its total willingness to dialogue and negotiation with its unions, always within a framework of legality and transparency,” the document says.

Grupo Aeromexico said it was committed to the safety of its customers and collaborators, and “will continue to adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the highest standards of safety and operation.”