Aerolineas delays flights after baggage handler dispute

Madrid
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Aerolineas Argentinas was forced to delay some flights in recent days as the airline faced another episode of labour action from its employees.

The SkyTeam carrier has accused its baggage handlers of being behind the latest strikes, which have resulted in the Argentinean government calling for a mandatory reconciliatory process.

The airline had hired 70 new ramp workers at its hub in Buenos Aires to counter what it calls a "mafia" of baggage handlers that are suspected of stealing from passengers' checked baggage.

The carrier says the baggage handlers have retaliated against this by holding brief walk-outs at work.

Baggage theft has long been a problem at Buenos Aires Ezeiza International airport, with many suspecting that well-organised groups among local baggage handlers are behind the thefts.

Relations between Aerolineas and its employees have been tumultuous in recent years. The airline dealt with strikes from its flight attendants and mechanics in October 2013, and was also forced to cancel flights in 2011 when its pilots went on strike.