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Mexico Airline Strike Ends

June 2, 2001

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Flight attendants for Mexico’s largest airline accepted a new contract on Saturday, ending a two-day strike that stranded thousands of passengers.

The new contract will raise wages 9.5 percent. AeroMexico had initially offered a 6.5 percent salary increase, while the union had sought a 30 percent raise. Saturday’s agreement was reached after more than six hours of negotiations.

Some people were forced to spend the night in Mexico City’s airport after trying unsuccessfully to find space on other airlines. However, the crowds of stranded passengers began to thin Saturday as AeroMexico moved them to other flights and prepared for the flight attendants to return to work on Sunday.

Talks between the airline and the union broke down late Thursday and the strike began Friday, grounding more than 250 daily flights.

AeroMexico’s general director, Alfonso Pasquel, told state-run news agency Notimex that the strike had cost the airline $4.6 million.

The flight attendants make an average of $769 a month, according to the union.

AeroMexico carries about 42 percent of Mexico’s domestic air traffic, as well as a significant share of foreign flights.

Although Labor Secretary Carlos Abascal participated in Saturday’s negotiations, the government did not intervene to block the strike, as it did during similar walkouts in 1998 and 2000.

AeroMexico serves 25,000 passengers a day at 48 Mexican airports and 209 abroad.

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