Partido ng Manggagawa
31 March 2011
The militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) accuses the Philippine Airlines (PAL) of restricting the union activities of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) by withholding the release of its union funds.
The accusation stemmed from the information that a PAL issued a check that bounced for the March 2011 union dues. The amount represents the monthly union dues that are supposed to be remitted by the management to PALEA’s account.
But when deposited on 24 March 2011 to PALEA’s RCBC account in Baclaran, the check was not honored by the bank because the account where it was drawn was said to be under garnishment. PALEA considered it as another act of bad faith on the part of management.
“This is economic embargo aimed at denying PALEA the means to hold union activities, including holding a strike. It is a veiled tactic to restrict the movement of PALEA and its members who are now in the thick of preparations for the planned strike,, said PM chair Renato Magtubo.
PALEA members are poised to launch a strike anytime from now in protest of their management’s refusal to negotiate for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and in opposition to the planned mass layoff and contractualization of PAL’s airport services departments that would affect at least 2,600 employees.
Magtubo explained that by drawing a check against a garnished account, PAL violated its obligation under the CBA to dutifully remit the collected union dues to PALEA. Union dues are fixed monthly contributions collected from union members by means of salary check off. It is then remitted by the management to the union as provided under their CBA.
“Sensing that legitimate union actions are underway and moving fast, the PAL management cunningly set up a time delaying device by imposing an embargo on PALEA funds,” added Magtubo.
On Tuesday, the country’s biggest labor groups have come together is support of PALEA’s fight for regular jobs and CBA. Simultaneous nationwide actions will be held tomorrow at PAL’s outlying stations including Davao, Cagayan De Oro, Zamboanga, General Santos, Cebu, Bacolod, and Ilo-ilo.
In Manila, labor groups will join the PALEA march around the airport area. The seven day mandatory strike ban on PALEA will end tomorrow.