Monday, April 18, 2011

Groups hold Kalbaryo ng Manggagawa at the airport

Press Release
April 18, 2011

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA), the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and the Alyansa ng Maralitang Pilipino (AMP) will hold this afternoon a Kalbaryo ng Manggagawa to highlight the dire plight of Philippine Airlines (PAL) employees and Filipino workers. “Labor contractualization, cheap wages even violent demolitions are heavy crosses for workers to bear. The anti-labor and anti-poor policies of the PNoy government are unfortunately adding to the burden suffered by workers,” declared Renato Magtubo, PM national chair.

“We call on PNoy to give due course to our motion for reconsideration and reverse the ruling penned by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa. We want PNoy himself to speak his mind on contractualization at PAL. PALEA also declares it support for the demand for a wage hike amidst the escalating inflation,” said Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and PM vice chair.

At 3:00 p.m. today the Kalbaryo ng Manggagawa starts with some 100 PALEA, PM and AMP members reenacting the Stations of the Cross. Some PAL employees will be carrying makeshift crosses while being whipped by other protesters wearing masks of Ochoa, Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz and former Acting Labor Secretary Romeo Lagman. Another protester wearing a mask of Lucio Tan will be kicking the PAL employees carrying crosses. In another scene, a protester in the character of President Benigno Aquino will put crowns of thorns on the heads of the PAL employees.

In reaction to the controversy over the state of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Rivera explained that “A better airport should also mean better working conditions for workers. Airport workers must enjoy regular jobs. Salaries and benefits for airport workers must be improved.”

PALEA and PM have lambasted the decisions of Lagman and Baldoz allowing the mass layoff of some 2,600 PAL employees and their transfer as contractuals in service providers. The groups have also criticized the Office of the President decision drafted by Ochoa that affirmed the earlier decisions,

By 5:00 p.m. Fr. Erik Adoviso, head of the Archdiocesan Ministry for Labor Concerns, will lead a mass at the Our Lady of the Airways Parish located at the corner of Sucat and MIA Roads. Hundreds of PALEA members are expected to attend the mass. Also at 11:00 a.m. PALEA and PM members will distribute leaflets at the Baclaran Church among churchgoers and passersby.

The Kalbaryo ng Manggagawa is a buildup to the May 1 mobilization to be led by PM, PALEA and other labor groups at Mendiola. Thousands of workers are expected to participate in the Labor Day protest.

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