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Mexicana Airlines Petitions to Have Strike Annulled

November 3, 1987

MEXICO CITY (AP) _ Federal mediators worked Monday to resolve a 2-day-old strike by Mexicana Airlines pilots, studying a petition by the company to have the strike annulled.

The 976 pilots, who are seeking 75 percent salary increases, continued flying in compliance with a presidential order issued at the start of the strike at 12:01 a.m. Sunday.

Newspapers reported cancellations and delays in flights on Sunday, but the Airline Pilots Association said they were not because of the strike.

Flight attendants and ground crews earlier accepted Mexicana’s offer of 69.5 percent increases. That also is the last known offer to the pilots. Mexicana has about 13,000 union employees.

Inflation was recorded at 93.1 percent for the first nine months of this year and registered 105.7 percent last year.

″We have not stopped flying, nor will we stop,″ union spokesman Capt. Juan Jose Castillo Arriaga told a news conference Monday. ″Those who make reservations with Mexicana are sure they will fly.″

The government took over the airline under a constitutional provision to maintain essential services.

If the Federal Mediation Board finds the union did not meet the legal requirements in filing for a strike, it can declare the strike ″non- existent.″

In advertisements Monday, Mexicana said pilots averaged the equivalent of about $2,000 a month, with the highest-paid making $5,000 a month. In addition, it said the pilots receive new cars every three years, free travel on the airline and discounts on other airlines and on hotels, car rentals and various tourist services.

″If they offered us what they say in the ad they give us, we would sign right now,″ Castillo Arriaga said. He declined to elaborate or give salary figures.

Mexicana carries an average of 25,000 passengers daily on its 130 flights to 30 Mexican and 14 foreign cities.

The last strike against the airline was a six-hour walkout by pilots in 1974.

The government owns 58 percent of the airline, but earlier this year announced plans to sell its stock.

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