International solidarity bolsters union in BA Argentina battle

The Asociación Argentina de Aeronavegantes (AAA) has welcomed the solidarity of the ITF and Unite the Union in the UK as it fights to stop British Airways (BA) closing its Buenos Aires EZE hub and laying off cabin crew based there.

Unite’s BASSA branch (the British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association – which is exclusively for BA cabin crew and has 8,500 members) has joined the ITF in strongly protesting against BA’s decision to dispense of its long serving and loyal Buenos Aires based cabin crew.

After the first round of AAA’s negotiations with BA failed, the union announced a sympathy strike from all cabin crew in Argentina that could force management and government to negotiate a solution to the conflict.

In a letter to BASSA, AAA general secretary Juan Pablo Brey wrote: “We really appreciate your concern about our difficult situation. For us, your solidarity is of utmost importance...we appreciate all the support you could provide from ITF, Unite and BASSA.

“We have met with BA Argentine representatives. The company insists on closing the hub despite our resistance, a situation that you are well aware of. Layoffs are a key moment for unity in the workers' movement. We are deeply grateful and at your service.”

ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho Rodriguez commented that BA was disregarding the success of the workers in building a strong reputation for the company in Argentina over 25 years, and urged BA to change its mind.

ITF unions CCOO and UGT in Spain, as representatives of IAG Group airlines, have sent similar messages of support to the AAA.

Find out more about BASSA at www.bassa.co.uk

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