Thursday, March 31, 2011

Labor groups condemn P-Noy’s decision on PAL, will support PALEA’s planned strike for job security and CBA

Labor Unity News Conference
Quezon City
March 29, 2011

The country’s biggest labor groups condemned the decision of the Office of the President allowing the outsourcing at Philippine Airlines which will lead to the termination of some 2,600 employees and their shift as contractual workers in service providers.

In a labor unity meeting and a news conference held in Quezon City this morning, the groups expressed their solidarity with the Philippine Airlines Employees Association’s (PALEA) fight for regular jobs and the right to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The names of organizations that expressed support for PALEA are listed below.

“This decision sends the chilling message to the workers that outsourcing and contractualization is the labor and economic policy of the Aquino administration. It exposed P-Noy’s “Kayo ang boss ko” slogan as a myth,” stated the groups’ unity statement.

They also vowed support for the planned strike by PALEA. Another PAL union, the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP), said they will “never cross the lines” once picketlines are set up by members of PALEA.

Several activities had been lined up by the groups in mounting their opposition to the planned mass layoff and contractualization in PAL. These include coordinated nationwide picket/rallies on April 1, which is the end of the strike countdown by PALEA.

The labor groups were disappointed with President Aquino for allowing PAL to layoff 2,600 employees while tens of thousands of OFW’s are returning from unrests and disasters abroad, and hundreds of thousands of college graduates enter the labor force this April with grim prospects of employment.

Labor leaders appealed for support from fellow workers and public understanding for PALEA’s planned actions.

“Nananawagan kami sa mga kababayang Pilipino at kapatid na manggagawa na makiisa sa labang ito. Ang laban ng PALEA ay laban nating lahat.”

PAL CBA counter-proposal “a farce”

Meanwhile, PALEA described PAL’s misnamed CBA counter-proposal submitted to DOLE as a “terminate first, negotiate later” position.

“The “counter-proposal” to PALEA’s proposed CBA is a confirmation of management’s bad faith and stubborn refusal to negotiate with the union. It is evident that PAL has no intention to negotiate. What PAL wants is MASS TERMINATION first before CBA NEGOTIATION,” lamented PALEA President Gerry Rivera.

Rivera who is also the Vice President of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) said that even if the decision of the Office of the President is not yet final and has just been issued a few days ago, PAL asserts that the CBA counter-proposal shall cover only those employees who will be left behind after the mass termination.

“PAL is conveniently using the case before the Office of the President as an excuse to defeat PALEA’s right to collective bargaining,” added Rivera.

PALEA has stated as early as last year that the company’s planned mass termination of thousands of regular employees and union members is intended to evade PAL’s responsibility to negotiate a new CBA with PALEA.

Rivera explained that despite the excellent financial condition of the company - US$ 75.0 Million or PHP 3 Billion, for nine months - PAL refuses to share the benefits of the company’s operations to its workers, through a CBA.

“After making its workers sacrifice their collective bargaining rights for more than a decade, PAL now rewards them with termination and refusal to bargain,” stated Rivera.

According to Rivera, PAL is adopting a three-strike approach against PALEA:

 First, PAL violates the workers’ RIGHT TO SECURITY OF TENURE by terminating thousands of regular employees

 Second, PAL violates the workers’ RIGHT TO SELF-ORGANIZATION through its efforts to bust the union;

 Third, PAL violates the workers’ RIGHT TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING by refusing to bargain with PALEA for a new CBA.

Assault against workers’ rights

Partido ng Manggagawa chair Renato Magtubo said the labor movement expected the Aquino government to uphold workers’ rights but they were greatly disappointed.

“Unfortunately, the government, first, through the DOLE, with Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, and, now the Office of the President, with Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa, has sided with PAL, and has allowed PAL’s assault against the workers’ fundamental rights,” said the former partylist representative

Rivera and Magtubo both agreed that when even the government is willing to sacrifice the rights of workers in favor of Lucio Tan’s company and interests, workers have no other recourse but to use a right that is still within our hands, the right to strike.

“In resorting to a strike, we do not fight for money, we fight for our rights! And we fight not just for PALEA members, but for all workers in the country,” concluded the two labor leaders.



1. FASAP- Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines

2. Partido ng Manggagawa

3. ABS-CBN IJM Union

4. ADFW – Association of Displaced Filipino Workers

5. AMLC – Archdiocese of Manila Ministry for Labor Concerns

6. APL- Alliance of Progressive Labor,

7. BMP-Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino

8. CLC- Church Labor Conference

9. FTLU-Fortune Tobacco Labor Union

10. KASAMA Federation

11. KATIPUNAN- NLM Katipunan ng Nakakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa

12. MAKABAYAN- Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan

13. MKP- Manggagawa sa Komunikasyon sa Pilipinas

14. Maynilad Water Supervisors Association

15. MELF- Metro East Labor Federation

16. NFL- National Federation of Labor

17. PAMAVA – Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa ng Valenzuela

18. PMT- Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon

19. PSLINK- Public Services Labor Independent Confederation

20. SMP- Samahang Manggagawa ng Paranaque

21. SUPER – Solidarity of Unions in the Philippines for Empowerment and Reforms

22. TUCP- Trade Union Congress of the Philippines

23. UNP- Union Network Philippines

24. UFSW – Unified Filipino Service Workers

25. UCWA - United Cavite Workers Association

26. UM- Urban Missionaries

27. UTWU- United Transport Workers Organization

28. Philippine Government Employees Association (PAGEA)

29. National Confederation of Labor Organizations (NCL)

30. National Mining and Allied Workers Union-ICEM

31. Bagong Kapisanang ng mga Manggagawa sa Philippine National Railways (BKM-PNR)

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