Monday, February 28, 2011

PALEA formally asks PNoy to declare PAL outsourcing illegal

Press Release
February 28, 2011

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) formally asked anew the Office of the President (OP) to declare the planned layoff and outsourcing as illegal as the financial statements of Philippine Airlines (PAL) show that it remains profitable. PALEA made the call last Thursday in its comment to PAL’s financial statements submitted to the OP.

“Will PNoy believe PAL despite the company’s own financial records? Will the President side with big business and sacrifice workers? PALEA, other unions and workers, and the entire country await the President’s verdict,” declared Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and Partido ng Manggagawa vice chair.

In its 55-page comment, PALEA prayed that the OP make a ruling on three issues:

1. Reverse the October 29, 2010 Order of the Secretary of Labor and Employment;
2. Declare PAL’s mass termination of more than 2,600 employees illegal; and
3. Declare PAL guilty of unfair labor practice for the implementation of the mass termination of more than 2,600 regular employees.

PAL’s first quarter profit was $31.6 million, second quarter profit was $28.2 million and third quarter profit of $15.1 million, for a total net income of $74.9 million for the months of April to December 2010. Further PALEA reported that PAL paid a loan in the amount of $46.5 million in June 2010.

“PAL’s position in this dispute will rise and fall with the truth or falsity of its claims of substantial business losses. The Department of Labor and Employment believed the company’s claims that it had to implement the mass termination to avert the collapse of the company. Now, the financial statements for the past year 2010 are out, and it clearly shows the robust business of PAL,” Rivera argued.

He added “Despite this, the company intends to terminate 2,600 employees, most of whom have rendered more than 20 years of loyal service to the company, and have waited for more than a decade during the CBA moratorium that started in 1998.”

Rivera insisted that “The fact that PAL has not been losing and instead has been earning despite being unable to proceed with the contractualization scheme disproves any necessity for the outsourcing.”

The union is pushing for collective bargaining negotiations to begin immediately and an end to the 12-year moratorium of the collective bargaining agreement. PALEA renewed mass actions with a prayer rally last February 9 with the theme “Stop mass layoff, Start CBA negotiations.”

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