Copa pilots reject pay offer, poised to strike

1,289Views 5Comments Posted 07/06/2017

A STRIKE by 1,000 Copa Airlines pilots on June 15 is looming following the rejection of the latest  pay offer by the company

The pilots, members of the Panamanian Union of Commercial Aviators (Unpac), rejected the two economic proposals that the airline presented in the negotiations for  a collective agreement that will be in force until 2021.

Luis Young, Secretary General of Unpac, said that "negotiations with the  airline are at a standstill." He said  that the economic proposals presented by the company do not cover the requests made by the pilots.

The first offer made by the company a month ago was a wage increase of 1.5 percent, while Unpac is asking  a 40 percent adjustment.

With the rejection by  the pilots , Young said, the company submitted a second proposal that included an increase of 8 percent and then added the payment of a private retirement program.

In a statement, Copa Airlines said that for reasons of confidentiality it could not comment on aspects of the negotiation, but reiterated its position to continue negotiating to avoid the strike that has been planned for June 15.

"As a company, we are responsible and committed to the well­being of our staff," the company said.

It added that if direct agreement with the pilots is not achieved, the Ministry of Labor has the

power to call the two parties to arbitration.

Young saya that beyond the salary adjustment, pilots are demanding that the airline recognize the payment of overtime and the creation of a scale for years of seniority.