Areolineas - pilots on strike.


Jul 20, 2009
Would you know it, every time i have flown with areolineas, i have been delayed, yesterday checked in at 11pm for 2am flight to NZ and AU, and was told we would be delayed until 9am today due to no plane being available, others on flight were told different stories. Found out this morning that the pilots went on strike at 10pm yesterday, and the check-in staff would have known. Have been told this could go on for days..

There is also talk that LAN might go on strike too.
Let's hope it doesn't get as bad as it did several years ago where the Areolineas employees blocked the highway to the airport.

You had people hauling their luggage and walking miles to the airport in hot and humid weather in December.

They disrupted all the flights departing EZE.
You know I don't care if people strike or picket...but you DON'T disrupt someone elses day! All the blockage of downtown streets and the PanAmericana is WRONG and should not be tolerated!

There are so many "what ifs".....streets are blocked and an ambulance is trying to get someone to the hospital! Like IStar said above...people trying to catch a flight!

It just frustrates the heck out of me how rude all of it is! And what's even more wild is that all these protests or strikes have to be the police know where they are going to be and still allow them to block traffic ...they even report it on the early morning you can prepare...INSANE!!!

I also think if the media didn't make such a big deal of it all the protests might not last so long..who knows really....okay off my soap box :)

**sorry really got off topic there
No to get too far off the point of the pilots on strike but...

Back in March I think it was? Whenever the last farmers' strike was, anyway. My wife and I had driven to Asuncion to do various things for about 10 days. About 2 days before we were to return I noticed on the news in Asuncion that the farmers were going to go on strike and block many of the major roads in Argentina as part of the strike. The newscaster mentioned that they would let non-business-related traffic and collectivos through, but hold back trucks and whatever else.

We got to our first roadbloack about halfway between the Paraguayan border and Santa Fe. When I reached the roadblock, I was about 5th in line behind a bunch of trucks.

They had harversters and cargo carriers blocking things, with a tractor/trailer blocking a gap through the center of this. To my right was a grassy flat area in shade, with a bunch of people sitting out there, drinking mate, with parillas fired up, kids playing futbol, etc.

Just as I pulled up, I saw the tractor/trailer move back and let a car go through, coming towards me. I thought "aha - I just need to go up there and find out what's going on." I remembered that the news in Asuncion had said normal traffic would be let through.

So I got out of my car (my wife was pleading with me not to get out, but I didn't know what was going on and I didn't know what I should do! There were no other cars at that point, only trucks). I walked up toward the roadblock and I asked if I could get through.

There was a big burly guy standing up there as the tractor/trailer reclosed the gap. He looked at me and grimaced, said something under his breath and told me to get back in my car. A bunch of other guys to the right side started laughing and pointing at me. At that point, I was feeling pretty weird, so I started walking back to my car, wondering what was going on.

I happened to look on the other side of the roadblock, away from where the farmers were partying, and saw a group of motorcycle cops parked on a dirt road that ran alongside the highway. I went over to them, politely wished them a good day, and asked what the deal was with the roadblock.

There were two male cops and one female. The two male cops (I swear!) snarled at me and looked away, refusing to talk to me. The female cop glanced at them and chuckled, then responded to my saludo and told me there was a roadblock. Aha. Heh.

So I asked her, "is this not illegal, to just block the road like this? What happens when traffic has to get through? What about people that have nothing to do with the argument between the government and the farmers?" Etc, etc.

She just smiled and answered that, unfortunately, if they are registered to strike (and of course, are a recognized group), it was not illegal and there was nothing they could do. The only thing the cops were there for was to keep the peace when tempers flared.

So I asked how long the road was blocked for - I started having nightmares of being there for hours, because that is apparently what they had done the year before when Buenos Aires was basically under seige. She told me that every half hour they were opening the roadblock and letting everyone in line through, so don't worry, I only had about 15 minutes left.

And sure enough, about 15 minutes later, they fired up the tractor/trailer and let everyone on both sides through, one at a time.

I hit 4 more of those roadblocks coming back to Buenos Aires. I was delayed almost three hours from the normal trip due to that. Could have been worse.

What I found interesting was that the way the traffic flowed, the same traffic was at the same stops together, and we sat and talked while waiting for the roablocks to open up. There was a lot of shouting and anger from the people waiting. The people I talked to were white hot that they were being held back like this.

I wondered if the farmers realized that they were not exactly striking at the heart, it seemed to me, where they needed to. They weren't doing anything to the government, but they were pissing off thousands (if not tens of thousands over days) of angry motorists who might have sided with them if they weren't so directly involved...
The labor unions are very powerful here. Remember the police belong to a union and they all support each other during "job action".
Just to correct some thing you guys mentioned.

1- In the city you are supposed to ask for permission to the authorities when you want to have a protest, but in 99.99 % of the cases nobody ask for this permission, and there is hardly ever a punishment for violating this law.

2- The police doesn't belong to any union. In fact by law the police can not be unionized.

I mentioned this before, protest where always relatively common in Argentina, but the situation today with lots blockades and pickets every day to protest for just about anything, started with the Kirchner policy of "everything goes". The police doesn't do anything because they have been ordered not to do anything.
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