April 10, 2011
The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) will file on Tuesday a motion for reconsideration (MR) of the Office of the President (OP) decision allowing Philippine Airlines (PAL) to proceed with its planned outsourcing. “The MR with the OP is meant to exhaust the administrative measures available for PALEA in seeking redress of our grievances. We believe that the MR has merits because the OP decision overlooked facts relevant to the labor dispute,” declared Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).
PALEA together with its lawyers Atty. Joeven Dellosa and Atty. Marlon Manuel plans to file the MR on Tuesday morning. Labor groups supporting PALEA such as PM and the anti-contractualization coalition KONTRA plan to mobilize a several hundred workers to express solidarity with the embattled PAL union. The groups will assemble at 10:00 a.m. in Morayta before proceeding to Mendiola. On Holy Week, the groups will hold a “Kalbaryo ng Manggagawa” protest at the airport to highlight the plight of Filipino workers, especially contractual employees and the unemployed.
Moderate to militant wings of organized labor has announced support for PALEA and its planned strike. The flight crew union Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the
and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo have also proclaimed backing for PALEA’s strike. Philippines
The OP decision released last Mach 25 permits PAL to layoff some 2,600 employees in the airport services, in-flight catering and call center reservations, and transfer them as contractuals in service providers.
“PNoy must recognize that the OP decision has not fostered industrial peace at the flag carrier. Instead the decision has agitated the membership of PALEA and brought PAL to the brink of a paralyzing strike last April 1. Moreover the decision has not weakened PALEA’s resolve to fight but rather strengthened their determination to even defy the Labor Secretary’s order enjoining a strike,” argued Renato Magtubo, PM chair.
Rivera added that “We consider the decision to be flawed in that it permits the mass layoff at a time when PAL is expecting $1.6 billion in annual profit. Further the decision lets PAL reward the sacrifice of the 12-year long suspension of the PALEA collective bargaining with the termination of workers whose wages, benefits and protection have already stagnated in that period.”
Further Magtubo insisted that “We believe that the OP decision sends the wrong message to the workers that PNoy’s policy is to condone labor contractualization and sacrifice workers rights at the altar of management prerogative.”