UPDATE 3-LAN Argentina resumes service after flights halted by strike

miércoles 11 de marzo de 2015 16:17 GYT

(Adds new LAN statement with end of strike)

BUENOS AIRES, March 11 (Reuters) - LAN Argentina, the Argentine unit of Chile-based LATAM airlines, said it resumed flights on Wednesday afternoon after a strike by maintenance workers earlier in the day paralyzed operations.

The employees, who belong to a faction of the Association of Aeronautical Personnel union, had suspended work earlier in the day to protest the firing of colleagues, local media had reported.

"As of 4:45 pm (1945 GMT) LAN will resume all domestic and international flights at all airports in the country," LAN said in a statement.

The company said the strike had affected all of Argentina's airports.

LAN said the Ministry of Labor had ordered the two sides to negotiate, a process known as "compulsory reconciliation." The measure requires the employees to resume work.

Live television footage at Buenos Aires' main domestic airport, Aeorparque Jorge Newbury, showed long queues of passengers in a crowded departure hall in the morning. Travelers said they had received no information from the airline.

Several other airlines flying domestic routes appeared to be operating normally throughout the day. (Reporting by Eliana Raszewski and Richard Lough; Editing by Louise Heavens, W Simon and Lisa Von Ahn)