April 2, 2011
The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) declared that it is ready to defy the order of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that enjoined the planned paralyzing strike at Philippine Airlines (PAL). “We are ready to defy the order of Labor Secretary Baldoz any time we deem it necessary to go on strike in order to prevent layoff and contractualization at PAL. Baldoz’ latest order is a bad April fool’s prank. But the order has not stopped a strike at PAL, it has merely postponed it to a date that PAL and the government cannot now know in advance,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.
PALEA lambasted the certification order signed by Sec. Baldoz which was served on the union office as a mobilization of some two thousand PAL employees and supporters snarled traffic at the airport area. “The order is the last nail on the coffin of labor rights in the country. PNoy’s government is executing one by one the Constitutionally-guaranteed rights of workers to security of tenure, collective bargaining and peaceful concerted action including strikes. PNoy has not only legalized the actions of Lucio Tan but also illegalized the action PALEA through Baldoz’ order. But PALEA will resist being a victim of PNoy’s anti-labor policy,” Rivera elaborated.
Rivera called on the 3,700 members of PALEA to remain vigilant and ready to go on strike any time. PALEA plans to hold protests next week against the DOLE order in coordination with a labor unity coalition of moderate to militant workers groups. Among other activities, PALEA and other labor groups will picket the DOLE Intramuros main office and tear a copy of the order from Baldoz.
“The right to strike is a Constitutionally-protected freedom by workers to defend themselves against the awesome powers of capital. PNoy has taken the crooked path instead of the straight road by siding with Lucio Tan, the country’s second richest man and the workers number one enemy,” insisted Renato Magtubo, chair PM, one of big labor groups in solidarity with PALEA.
PALEA will meet the different labor groups today at the TUCP compound in
to map out joint activities. The groups seek to galvanize public opinion in support of PALEA’s campaign against contractualization. Among the planned activities are workers assemblies, advocates fora and a labor caravan around industrial areas and ecozones. Quezon City
PALEA also revealed that the case they plan to file with the International Labor Organization against government’s suppression of the conventions on the right to self-organization and collective bargaining, and the complaint will be stronger with the latest DOLE order as further evidence.