Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Anti-contractualization group gathers support to defend trade unionism in PAL

21 September 2010

Members of the Koalisyon Laban sa Kontraktwalisasyon (KONTRA) joined the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) in celebrating its 64th anniversary in a mass and rally held at the Our Lady of the Airways Parish at the corner of MIA Road and Ninoy Aquino Ave. in Pasay City this morning.

The PALEA assembly has become a gathering of different labor groups and individuals opposed to the policy of labor contractualization and who pledge to defend the 64 year-old trade union organization in PAL. PALEA was formed in September 21, 1946. September 21 is also the anniversary of the imposition of martial law.

KONTRA leaders vowed to mobilize, as widely as possible, local and international support for the PAL workers’ fight against contractualization, saying that what Marcos failed to achieve in annihilating militant trade unions under martial rule, present day capitalists want it done through contractualization.

Partido ng Manggagawa chair Renato Magtubo, said PAL’s plan to fire more than 2,600 regular ground personnel and replace them with contractuals from outsourced third party service providers is a sinister way of busting the 64 year-old strong and assertive tradition of PALEA union.

Another labor leader Pete Pinlac, former president of PLDT union and who now heads the Manggagawa ng Komunikasyon sa Pilipinas (MKP), said that while the trained and highly skilled members of PALEA were assured to be rehired under new spinoff companies and may assume their former jobs, what is achieved instantly under the outsourcing plan is the emasculation of PALEA and loss of job security of its members.

Edwin Bustillos of the Alliance of Progressive Labor, on the other hand, warned of grave consequences the planned outsourcing in PAL would bring to the entire labor front as the policy may serves as template for organized and systematic way of union-busting.

KONTRA also condemns PAL’s policy of forced retirement for female flight attendants upon reaching the age of 40, saying the policy is not only discriminatory on women but also a clear violation of all existing laws and international conventions on core labor standards.

KONTRA is a labor alliance opposed to the policy of labor contractualization. It is composed of the Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL), the Archdiocese of Manila Ministry for Labor Concerns (AMLC), Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), Manggagawa para sa Inang Bayan (MAKABAYAN), Manggagawa sa Komunikasyon sa Pilipinas (MKP), PALEA, Fortune Tobacco Labor Union (FTLU), Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), Union of Filipino Service Workers (UFSW), and the Urban Missionaries (UM).

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