After more than four months of negotiations, the Union of Air Transport Workers Colombian-Sintratac (Sintratac) has achieved a historic first collective agreement with LATAM Airlines.
The agreement was approved by the union’s assembly on 24 May and signed the next day. It will run until 2018 and will govern processes relating to workers’ rights in Colombia LATAM. It establishes the right to due process and defence in disciplinary matters, and an established career plan. It also includes equal pay for equal work, greater job security, transport to and from work, a guaranteed 12-hour rest period and increased trade union permits, which mean that Sintratac leaders will have more time paid by LATAM to work for the union.
Sintratac president Esteban Restrepo said: “It is the first time a clear and solid way has been set for the rules governing air workers’ employment with the company. It ends the arbitrariness of the rules which operated until now.”
ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho congratulated Sintratac and the workers at Colombia LATAM on their achievement, and said their commitment to the ITF’s LATAM network – which was set up when the company started in 2010 – should serve as an inspiration to other civil aviation unions.
The LATAM network and its co-ordinator Dina Feller have supported the negotiations from the start, kicking off with a meeting in Bogota in November 2015, with help from the Ebert Foundation in Germany. Cristina Cadavid, general secretary of the Colombian Association of Flight Attendants and chair of the ITF regional committee, also supported the airline workers, and described the agreement as strengthening the unity of airline unions and workers.