Coup Govt Seeks to Bankrupt Bolivian State Airline
March 3, 2020
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
Base workers of the Bolivian Aviation Company (BoA) declared a state of emergency after not being attended by the Ministry of Public Works, and asked to hold a meeting with President Jeanine Añez to learn about the situation of the state company.
The representative of the BoA collective, Francia Gonzales, expressed her fear and that of the other workers of the airline that the same pattern that occurred with the companies Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano (LAB) and Aerosur, which went bankrupt last decade, will be repeated.
“This is precisely the reason for this mobilization. Our company is gradually going into decline and this is the concern of all the workers. Many of them, former officials of LAB and Aerosur, are seeing the same steps, the same as what has happened with other companies, we are focused on the same path,” emphasized Gonzales.
This Tuesday, BoA’s president, Juan Carlos Ossio, denounced a loss of at least $50 million during the last four administrations of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS).
“Boliviana de Aviación does not escape the logic that the country has been suffering systematically. MAS never tires of saying that it delivered an armored economy, and as we are seeing little by little, BoA is just another one of the badly managed companies that is showing a loss of more than 50 million dollars,” said Ossio.
The manager of the state-run company also considered that the rank and file workers are in a “plot”. In response to this statement, Gonzales said that the state airline workers “are not in a plot, but that the plot is coming from management” by cutting BoA’s schedule.
“At no time do we as workers intend to stop operations, that would be a plot. The plot we are seeing is from management making bad decisions in cutting routes, cutting catering and other types of services,” he added.
Claudia Mallón, a deputy from Unidad Demócrata (UD), denounced that the state-owned airline BoA failed to receive more than 79 million Bolivians (Bs) due to the reduction of frequencies as determined by the airline’s manager and the “complicit” silence of Public Works Minister Iván Arias.