Brazilian Airports Chaos Threatens Military Crisis

The decision of Waldir Pires, Brazilian Defense Minister, to open a direct dialog with the air traffic controllers who brought chaos into air travel in Brazil when they opted for a work-to-rule campaign that began October 27 ignited a crisis between Brazil’s Defense Ministry and the FAB (Brazilian Air Force)

The Air Force commander got angry accusing the civilian authorities, especially the Defense Ministry, of overstepping his authority. There are even rumors that brigadier Luiz Carlos Bueno, the air Force chief, might ask for his walking papers to register his protest.

Pires is being recriminated by the brigadier for encouraging anarchy and opening a serious precedent by engaging in negotiations with the rebellious sergeants who are leading the flight controllers’ action. After all, Bueno reasons, air controlling is Air Force territory and should be left for the military to deal with.

The Defense Minister says that he didn’t want to challenge anyone’s authority, but only find a fast solution for a problem that has been crippling the nation and leaving people waiting in the airports for a plane for up to 20 hours. In his talks with leaders of the controllers he promised to study some of their demands like better salaries, creation of a career and demilitarization of the sector.

While Pires together with  Labor Minister, Luiz Marinho, have chosen the negotiation path the Brazilian military brass insist that militaries shouldn’t be treated as union workers and most of all they should be punished for bringing out their problems into the open and starting a slowdown, which the same as strikes are expressly forbidden.

Brazil has now 2,112 military and 571 civilians working as air controllers, but there is a total of 10.327 people employed in several other related areas like engineering, communications, and computer science, among others. All of them might learn from the slowdown that this is the only way to get some attention.

The military fear that the controllers’ example might get imitators in other areas unleashing a series of protests and strikes for better wages and work conditions all across the three forces: Army, Navy and Air Force.

They are also concerned that the controllers’ rebellion is undermining the core of the military institution, which is based in hierarchy and discipline.

Minister Pires reasons that dialogue is the weapon used in such cases in a democracy and asks his critics: "Was there any other option? What the military wanted us to do? That we just let things the way they were?"

Bueno was particularly upset with the fact that Pires met with the Air Force sergeants without him. Pires contends, however, that he was encouraged by the brigadier himself to promote the meeting.

Before the Pires meeting with the rebels, the Air Force commander had summoned on Thursday all the controllers, forcing them to gather in the air traffic control center of Brasí­lia (Cindacta 1) threatening them with court martial in case they left their post before Sunday.

Bueno has already said that even though he feels "hurt, sad, bothered and dejected" he owes loyalty to president Lula. And it’s known that he would like to keep his post in Lula’s second term in office.

Worried with the situation, president Lula, took a break from his vacation in Bahia – in the Aratu military basis, by the way – to ask his chief of staff Dilma Roussef to talk to Pires and Bueno. His message: put down the fire, this quarrel can trigger a military crisis.

Tags:

  • Show Comments (1)

  • ch.c.

    fun….fun….fun !
    Fun to read : “All of them (the other 10’000) might learn from the slowdown that this is the only way to get some attention.”…like if they did not already know !!!!!!
    Fun to read that military strikes are allowed and understood by the Defense Minister himself !

    Is all this a cartoon, a fiction movie or a divertion to hide something….such as the plane crash…or the real state of the air security in Brazil ?????

    No doubt….time will tell….eventually !

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil Adopts Swift’s Modest Proposal Condemning Children to Slow Death

In 1729, the writer Jonathan Swift presented what he called “A Modest Proposal” to ...

Globo TV reporter Guilherme Portanova after being released from captivity

Gangs Have Brought Brazil to Its Knees. Kidnap for TV Air Time Proves It

Not only São Paulo, but the whole country breathed a sigh of relief upon ...

4,000 Foreigners from 65 Countries Come to Brazil’s Leather Fair

Brazilian shoe producers exported higher added value products last year. The average price of ...

Brazil’s Itaíº Bank Celebrating a C Rating by Moody’s

Moody’s, a leading international rating agency, has upgraded Banco Itau’s financial strength rating from ...

U2's Bono

Bono, Jagger and All Has-Been Rockers Rock Brazil to Boredom

São Paulo held its St Patrick’s day celebrations early this year as U2 (or ...

Brazil’s Philosophy of Free Plastic Surgery. Is Beauty a Right?

Although common in much of the western world, plastic surgery is something that is ...

Brazil’s Vaccine for Foot and Mouth Disease Is Effective, Says International Lab

The vaccine used in Brazil to immunize cattle against hoof and mouth disease protects ...

Brazilian Small Companies Increasingly Find Clients Overseas

There was an increase in the number of exporting micro and small sized companies ...

When Brazilian Jazz Came to the US

Little did jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd and his friend saxophonist Stan Getz know that ...