Mexicana signs historic union deal

Mexicana Airlines has entered
into an historic agreement with the National Union of Transport,
Manufacturing, Aviation, Service and Similar Workers (SNTTTASS).The
agreement provides for more flexible labor conditions for ground workers—
conditions which had not been modified for more than 15 years—and is
expected to translate into annual savings of 20 million dollars for the
company, giving continuity to the productivity agreements signed in 2006.
  This heralds a new era in labor relations between companies and unions
in Mexico and is tangible evidence of Mexicana’s drive to modernize its
operations and remain at the vanguard of the commercial aviation sector.
  The terms of the agreement will give stability to Mexicana’s relations
with SNTTTASS right through until the year 2009. In support of the
airline’s efforts to strengthen its finances, ground workers accepted a
“zero” salary increase for 2006, and inflation-indexed raises plus one
percentage point for 2007, 2008 and 2009.
  The agreement also provides for:
  Polyvalence: The incorporation of the concept of polyvalence means one
single staff member can perform several functions. Mexicana’s passengers
will now be able to check in, purchase plane tickets and pay excess luggage
charges at one single counter, as opposed to having to stand in line at
several, with the ensuing improvement in customer services and reduction in
costs.
  Shorter working days: By adapting the length of the working day to the
demands of its operations and flight itineraries, the airline aims to
optimize resources, while contributing to the growth of the company and
creating more jobs nationwide.
  Productivity incentive: The introduction of a productivity incentive
system marks a radical turnaround in the sales and reservations area, whose
employees will now be rewarded for their efforts to boost sales in
proportion to the amount of income they generate for the company.
  Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO): At its engineering and
maintenance areas, Mexicana has strengthened its commitment to passenger
safety without sacrificing the quality of its services. More flexible
working days means that more man-hours are available when required, while
new agreements for the training of mechanics have been entered into.
  Having more mechanics on hand at its engineering and maintenance areas
at times when services are in greater demand will afford Mexicana the
opportunity to put its new MRO business unit into operation. MRO was set up
with a view to maximizing the company’s resources, improving its service
standards and optimizing the use of its existing infrastructure. Mexicana
boasts the best maintenance base in Latin America and hopes to render MRO
services to other airlines under more competitive conditions in the near
future. These services will be extended to the Guadalajara maintenance base
in mid-2008.
  Under an agreement signed in September 2006, the workforce in this area
was streamlined by 10% and there was a 30% increase in productivity at
certain stations.
  Marking the culmination of several months of negotiations, Mexicana CEO
Emilio Romano and SNTTTASS Secretary General Miguel Angel Yudico signed the
agreement today at the offices of the Labor Ministry in the presence of
Labor Secretary Javier Lozano Alarcon, the Chairman of the Board of Grupo
Mexicana Gaston Azcarraga, and Juan Ortega Arenas, Legal Advisor of
SNTTTASS.
  “This agreement was achieved through dialog and the trust shared by
both parties, whose overriding objective was to find the best way of making
the company viable in the long term,” said Emilio Romano, who added that:
“There is no better example of quality of life than the knowledge that you
have a stable job to go to and this agreement makes this possible; we
should acknowledge the fact that the step we are taking today is a fine
example of how a mature vision of the labor relationship can give
collective contracts the flexibility required to adapt to the needs of
companies, thereby allowing them to compete in a profitable manner.”
  Miguel Angel Yudico said that, “By virtue of this agreement, the union
is helping build on the company’s future by taking into account today’s
difficult market conditions that demand greater competitiveness of the
airline. Likewise, the union is standing by its commitment to ground
workers by acknowledging that the best way to protect their collective
contract is by ensuring they have the necessary flexibility and
productivity to guarantee them a secure and stable source of employment in
the long term.”
  Emilio Romano thanked the union leaders and the company’s workers
before going on to comment that the agreement signed today is of great
transcendence in that it constitutes a commitment and yet another leap
forward in the drive to boost Mexicana’s competitiveness and guarantee the
airline’s long-term viability.
  This agreement, just like the one signed with ASPA, is a progressive
document that reflects Mexicana’s commitment to offering its clients top
quality services at more accessible prices and in more efficient ways.
  Negotiations are currently being held with flight attendants and their
union leaders (ASSA), and Mexicana is confident that an agreement will be
reached soon, enabling the company to conclude the process of consolidating
its future.
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