Brazilian pilots and flight attendants plan strike for Monday

pilots strike brazil
São Paulo’s Congonhas Airport. Photo: Thiago B Trevisan/Shutterstock

A nationwide union of airline workers voted on Wednesday to go on strike on November 29, keeping just 50 percent of staff members active on any given day. As they provide an essential service, airline workers cannot simply halt all activities without breaking the law. 

They request salary bumps to compensate for losses caused by inflation over the past two years. Companies, meanwhile, want to keep salaries frozen and progressively increase amounts paid out in benefits such as food vouchers, according to inflation from the past 12 months (10.67 percent until October).

A proposal for a collective bargaining agreement between unions and employers was rejected by a whopping 93 percent of workers in a vote last week. The current deal expires on November 30 and was meant to be renewed by November 20.

In their defense, companies argue that they were some of the worst-hit businesses during the pandemic — having to deal with high costs while most planes remained grounded for months last year. The crisis led to thousands of layoffs by all major airlines. They urge workers to accept their proposal in order to guarantee the sustainable recovery of the sector.