Aeromexico pilots will strike on October 1st over a collective punishment recently imposed on them in light of a crash in July.
Mexico’s civil aviation agency blamed weather, not pilot error or mechanical failures, in a preliminary report about the crash. At the same time, the report revealed that a pilot-in-training served as co-pilot during takeoff. This runs counter to Aeromexico rules. Per Retuers:
In response, Aeromexico last week said it had fired the three pilots who were in the cabin and announced new rules for crew, including the elimination of a provision that allowed pilots to fly in the cabin for free.
Firing the pilots seems harsh, but reasonable. But eliminating free flights for pilot? What does that have to do with the crash? The pilot’s union has similar questions, stating:
Aeromexico decided unilaterally to suspend the benefit of Crew Flying in Cabin, among other violations of the collective contract, affecting a critical clause for around 2,400 pilots.
The union contends that free flights are critical for pilots to travel between their homes and Aeromexico hubs. A strike has been set for October 1st.
Hopefully the long lead-time before the strike will give Aeromexico and its pilots time to work out a compromise. This seems like a fairly unreasonable punishment to me.