April 17, 2018 / 8:31 PM / 4 months ago

LATAM Airlines union rejects contract offer, strike goes on

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A union of flight attendants for LATAM Airlines subsidiary LAN Express said on Tuesday it had voted to reject a contract offer from the Chile-based carrier, prolonging a strike that has led the airline to reschedule more than 1,000 flights.

FILE PHOTO: Airplanes belonging to LATAM Airlines (previously named Lan Airlines) are seen at the International Airport during an indefinite strike of the Cabin Crew Union of LAN Express, a subsidiary of the Chile-based LATAM Airlines group, in Santiago, Chile April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido

LATAM, Latin America’s largest carrier, said earlier in the day that the two parties had reached an agreement, but the union had cautioned the deal was subject to approval by its members.

The deal was rejected by a majority of the union’s 1,000 members, a union spokeswoman said, adding that the airline and its workers were meeting again to try to resolve their differences.

The union has cited the duration of staff rotations and salaries of new employees as primary sticking points during months of negotiations with the airline.

The week-long strike has primarily impacted flights within Chile, though it has also affected regional connections throughout South America.

LATAM told Reuters on Monday it had canceled 1,134 flights through April 21, and that the strike would affect at least 196,000 passengers.

LATAM was created in 2012 through a merger of Chile’s LAN and Brazil’s TAM. The group, headquartered in Santiago, has operating units in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru.

Reporting by Dave Sherwood, Felipe Iturrieta and Antonio De la Jara, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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