Copa's airlines Colombia pilots refuse overtime amid dispute

October 10, 2013

BOGOTA, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Pilots at the Colombian operations of U.S.-listed Copa Airline have begun refusing overtime to press demands for a pay rise, their union said on Thursday, following similar actions by pilots at Colombia's Avianca and some local pilots from Chile's LAN.

The union said 131 pilots from the local unit of the Panamanian company, Copa Colombia, were taking part in the "Zero Overtime" movement amid a 20-month long labor dispute which has already been submitted to an arbitration tribunal.

The airline, which operates 10 domestic routes in Colombia and flies to 10 international destinations, said in a statement it was making efforts to resolve the dispute.

"Copa Colombia confirms ... its intention to reach an agreement beneficial to the parties and one that at the same time ensures the company's sustainability," it said in a statement.

On Oct. 4 a minority of pilots at the Colombian subsidiary of Chile's LAN began similar action to press a complaint that the airline discriminated against pilots who were union members, paying them as much as $4,200 less per month than non-members.

Similar action by pilots at Avianca in September, owned by Avianca Holdings, caused some disruption to the company's flight schedule and ended after three weeks with an 11 percent pay increase for pilots in their main union, Odeaa.

Members of the minority union, Acdac, representing 43 percent of the pilots have rejected the offer and continue to refuse overtime hours.