Airline Owner Blasts Argentina’s Labor Unions for Opposing Deregulation: “They Don’t Want to Work”

By: Marcelo Duclos - May 24, 2017, 1:53 pm
La empresa estatal sigue en déficit y el gobierno busca generar competencia (Twitter)
The state-run company still has a deficit to overcome before the government can be competitive. (Twitter)

EspañolDespite the fact that Argentina President Mauricio Macri and the Ministry of Transport have spoken highly of state-owned company Argentina Airlines, the industry as a whole has started a process of deregulating that has drawn both investment and labor union protests.

Its members claim deregulation of the airline industry jeopardizes the local and state-run Argentina Airlines.

The Association of Aeronautical Technical Personnel (APTA), the Association of Aeronautical Personnel (APA), the Personal Airline Union (UPLA) and the Association of Airline Pilots (APLA) issued a statement claiming there is no “regulatory criteria” to carry out this “indiscriminate openness” that will lead the state company to an “operational collapse.”

It also claimed Argentina Airlines is the victim of a “lack of protection” due to the government’s budget cuts.

The history of the airline began during former President Peron’s first administration, when he nationalized the few private airlines existing at that time into one single company.

It remained that way until the ’90s, when former President Carlos Menem privatized it. Despite the change of management, the company maintained its benefits and its almost monopolistic position, with very few routes granted to other companies. The lack of competition ultimately created poor management and the company was then re-nationalized during the Kirchner administration.

So far, commercial flights within Argentine territory have seen prices skyrocket. The current government was able to reduce the deficit, but the airline continues to experience losses worth millions each day.

Head of Avianca Germán Efromovich accused local unions of “not wanting to work.”

“Many bad Argentines are comfortable to suck on the breast of the cow that we call the government, while others work.”

Marcelo Duclos Marcelo Duclos

Marcelo Duclos is a reporter for the PanAm Post from Buenos Aires. He studied journalism at Taller Escuela Agencia (TEA) and went on to pursue a master's degree in Political Science and Economics at Eseade. Follow him on Twitter: @MarceloDuclos