Argentine air traffic controllers have warned they might go on strike in the coming days, which would cause a major setback to operations nationwide as the vacation season nears its end and classes are about to restart.
The controllers may start their measures Friday and have also said they might escalate if time passed by and no agreement was reached regarding their labor claims.
However, the Aviation Protection and Safety Technicians and Employees Association (ATEPSA) labor union, said their protests would not affect flights during the Feb. 28 / March 1 Carnival holidays.
ATEPSA brings together air traffic controllers, aeronautical information services providers and search and rescue and aviation technicians at all airports and airfields natiowide.
The union said in a statement that as of February 18, [we] will progressively resume the legitimate measures of union action that will include the suspension of takeoff clearances for commercial flights, cargo and aviation in general throughout the national territory.
Aviation business sources said the measures were irrational and out of proportion, because they generates uncertainty in all the sectors that benefit from the arrival of tourists, and jeopardizes the return of families in time for the beginning of the new school year.
We regret this decision of the union. After the worst crisis that the airline sector has ever experienced and facing the first summer of real activity since the pandemic began, they do not even have the slightest will to preserve the summer season and, worse still, the return of the carnival holiday, which is the one that generates the most movement throughout the year, they stressed.
ATEPSA workers were offered a 55% salary update for the year 2021, so the strike has no other explanation than the irrationality of union sectors that are more concerned with resolving their internal [feuds] than in the definitive recovery of the airline industry in the country.