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LATAM Airlines crews threaten strike on eve of World Cup

05 june 2014, 12:36
©Reuters/Nacho Doce
©Reuters/Nacho Doce

Maintenance crews at LATAM Airlines, the region's biggest carrier, threatened Wednesday a 48-hour strike that could delay flights on the first days of the World Cup in Brazil, AFP reports.

The crews, seeking pay raises after a decade without them, did not say when the strike might start.

But the strike will come before June 15 and with participation from crews in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru said LATAM-Peru union leader Juan Carlos Talavera.

The World Cup starts in Brazil on June 12.

Chile's flag carrier LAN completed a takeover of TAM, the biggest airline in Brazil, in 2012.

Lima is one of the regional hubs for the merged airline.

"If there is no maintenance for these planes, they cannot leave from airports," Talavera warned, noting the strike was planned after talks with management broke down.

Maintenance workers also are seeking shorter shifts, saying that their 12-hour shifts are unhealthy.

They want mechanics across the region to get equal work for equal pay.

A Chilean maintenance crew member currently makes twice the salary of a mechanic in Peru doing the same work, the union said.

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