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Brazil airport employees accept pay raise, end strike threat
[July 14, 2007]

Brazil airport employees accept pay raise, end strike threat

(EFE Ingles Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Sao Paulo, Jul 14 (EFE).- The Brazilian Airport Employees Union in a divided decision accepted the goverment's offer of a 6-percent pay raise and withdrew its threat of a walkout.

The 53 percent of workers who took part in the 60 regional assemblies accepted Friday the proposal of Infraero, the state-owned company that manages the nation's airports, that had been presented Monday.

The assemblies at the country's main airports, such as Cumbica International Airport in Guarulhos that serves Sao Paulo and which has the most international air traffic in the country, and Congonhas-Sao Paulo International Airport which has the most national flights, accepted the offer.

Other terminals, including Rio de Janeiro's Galeao International Airport, Confins and Pampulha airports in Belo Horizonte, and Viracopos in the town of Campinas in Sao Paulo state, rejected the offer but agreed to let the union take the decision.

Some workers in Guarulhos and Sao Paulo met this Friday outside Sao Paulo's Municipal Theater in a demonstration organized by air traffic controllers.

At a time when the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro is hosting the Pan American Games, the nation feared that the air crisis that has been going on since September 2006 was about to get worse because of the employees' threat of an indefinite strike starting this weekend.

The Sept. 19, 2006 accident involving a Boeing of Brazil's Gol airline and a U.S. executive jet, in which 154 occupants of the airliner died, set off chaos in air travel in South America's biggest country.

Repeated flight cancellations and delays that were at their worst over Christmas, Carnival and Holy Week, and which were chiefly the result of protests of air traffic controllers against staffing shortages, led Congress to set up a Parliamentary Investigation Commission (CPI) to deal with the situation. EFE


Copyright 2007 EFE News Services (U.S.) Inc.

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