Brazil airports reopen after strike

Brazil's 49 airports are set to reopen after a deal was reached by the government and air traffic controllers to end a walkout, a labour representative said.

Brazil airports reopen after strike

Brazil's 49 airports are set to reopenafter a deal was reached by the government and air traffic controllers to end awalkout, a labour representative said.

Thestrike by controllers had forced a suspension of all departures from Brazilianairports, stranding tens of thousands of passengers nationwide, Brazil'sairport authority said.



Theagreement was reached late on Friday during an emergency meeting held betweenmembers of the Brazilian cabinet and unions representing the controllers,Normando Cavalcante, an attorney representing the controllers, said. 

Under the accord, thegovernment had agreed to suspend planned transfers of striking workers from theairport of Brasilia, the capital, to other parts ofthe country, worker salaries, and begin talks about "demilitarising"the industry.

Brasilia hunger strike

Earlieron Friday, air traffic controllers said they started a hunger strike in Brasilia's military-runcontrol centre to protest against poor work conditions and equipment safety.

The civil air controllers' union, in a statement,said: "We have reached our human limits. We have no confidence in ourequipment and no confidence in our commanders."

When controllers began striking,authorities demanded the controllers get back to work or face penalties.

Eighteen controllers were ordered arrested for havingwalked off the job and holed up at their workplaces, Globo television reported.

Jorge Botelho, president of the Flight ProtectionWorkers Union, told The Associated Press: "All takeoffs are suspended dueto the strike by military air controllers.

"There are a few civil controllers, but they arevery few, so in effect all flights are stopped."

The air force, which is in charge of air trafficcontrol, said all activity in the Brasiliacontrol centre was stopped. Brasiliais the main traffic control centre for all flights through central Brazil.

Civilian controllers work side by side with militarycontrollers in Brazil,but military controllers are not allowed to have unions.

Persistent disruptions

The incident follows months of persistent disruptionsin Brazil'sair traffic system.

Jose Ulisses Fontenelle, former president of theFlight Controllers Association of Brasilia, said the controllers viewed thetransfer of senior workers as a reprisal for slowdowns that controllershave periodically staged since Brazil'sworst air crash last September.

Two jets clipped wings over the Amazon and one of themplunged into the rain forest, killing all 154 people on board.

Military officials have said air traffic controllersmay have been partly to blame. Traffic controllers have complained they areunderstaffed and forced to rely on faulty equipment.

Members of congress and industry analysts havesuggested taking control of the air traffic system out of military hands.

Walder Pires, the defence minister, on Friday saidsuch a move would require a new law. He said the government wasconsidering longer-term reforms.




Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16