Public Report of Review of NAO Submission No. 9901
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Bureau of International Labor Affairs
SUMMARY OF SUBMISSION Submission No. 9901 raises issues of freedom of association and protection of the right to organize, the right to bargain collectively, minimum employment standards, and occupational safety and health at Executive Air Transport (TAESA). TAESA is a privately-owned airline carrier in Mexico with service to the United States and Canada. According to the submitters, the flight attendants at TAESA wanted a craft union to represent them to address issues concerning safety and health hazards aboard TAESA aircraft, inadequate training, low wages, and the non-payment of overtime or payroll tax contributions for social security, pensions, and housing. A company-wide collective bargaining agreement was already in existence between TAESA and the National Union of Air Transport Workers of Mexico (SNTETA). In July 1997, ASSA filed a petition for title of the collective bargaining agreement for TAESA flight attendants before the Conciliation and Arbitration Board (CAB). These representation proceedings resulted in numerous decisions by the CAB and subsequent appeals by ASSA over a two and one-half year period. The submitters assert that the CAB's rulings were not fair, equitable, nor transparent and that the CAB aided TAESA in blocking the rights of the flight attendants. A company-wide representation election was held on March 22, 1999. The submitters allege that the established union, in alliance with TAESA management, initiated threats and intimidation against ASSA supporters during the representation election. The submitters claim that ASSA supporters were impeded in their attempts to enter the voting station in Mexico City, with armed guards and attack dogs being placed on the premises. Furthermore, the submitters maintain that the workers were required to vote orally in the presence of the contending unions and management representatives. Despite repeated objections by the ASSA representatives, the election was allowed to proceed by government authorities. ASSA lost the company-wide election, and, afterwards, those who supported ASSA were dismissed from their jobs at TAESA. According to the submitters, the CAB conducted a hearing on ASSA's objections to the election and determined that the title to the collective contract remained with SNTETA. However, ASSA successfully appealed the decision on procedural grounds, and the case is pending once again before the CAB.
North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation; NAALC; Mexico; Canada; United States; labor law; working conditions; worker rights