Airline labor unions often have debates so convoluted that we tend to find them just aggravatingly myopic and selfish, but then it goes to another level.
The newest example is what happened in Argentina over the weekend, where Buenos Aires was effectively shut down because two douchebag Aerolineas Argentinas pilots from two different unions got into a fist fight with each other. Instead of saying something like "yeah, our pilots probably shouldn't have done that," their respective unions threw temper tantrums and went on strike to protect them.
The result: the airline had to be shut down. Argentina's chief domestic airport, Aeroparque Jorge Newbery, had to be closed. The country's top international airport, Ezeiza International Airport, tried to handle the overload, and more or less failed. Tens of thousands of travelers saw their flights moved or canceled. Hundreds of thousands saw their travel weekend become a disaster.
Apparently these two pilots flying the same plane, and one brought a camera into the cockpit to document something that the other didn't think should be documented. A fight broke out and the pilots were duly dragged from the cockpit by security. Putting aside questions like "wow, how long must they have been fighting for security to get there," this is where things got fun. And by fun we mean "exactly like a grade school playground."
Since each of these pilots were on a union team,both unions immediately went on an emergency strike to ensure that neither pilot get punished. In fairness that's what unions are supposed to do: protect their members, even when those members might deserve to be fired. Which is fair enough, except it sent the country's largest airline into a complete shutdown. Airports around the country went into total disarray, and even freeways became clogged with people going back and forth from their flights. To top everything off, this morning unionized flight attendants from LAN Argentina then went on a "surprise strike" - the AP's language, not ours - because of work rule violations that may or may not actually exist.
And because of that, Buenos Aires, an Alpha World City, the second largest metropolitan area in all of South America, couldn't function over the weekend.