Monday, May 16, 2011

PALEA attends NLRC hearing but will raise dispute to ILO

Press Release
May 16, 2011

The officers of the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) attended the hearing of the labor dispute with Philippine Airlines (PAL) concerning the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) at the National Labor Relations Commission this afternoon. However on Wednesday, PALEA will push through with filing a complaint at the International Labor Organization for violation of conventions on freedom of association, collective bargaining and the right to strike.

“The fight continues. We will exhaust all avenues in order to protect the regular jobs and improve the working conditions of PAL employees. The Philippines is party to international conventions that protect the rights of workers to form unions, negotiate CBA’s and hold strikes. But with government connivance, PAL is trying to bust PALEA through its outsourcing plan and is prolonging a 12-year CBA moratorium by refusing to negotiate,” Rivera explained.

This morning PALEA joined other supporters in the filing of the nomination of its lawyer Atty. Marlon Manuel for the post of Ombudman. “After the disaster of Merceditas Gutierrez, it is high time that the post of Ombudsman is assumed by a person of principles and resolve. Atty. Manuel’s track record of lawyering for farmers and workers fighting against giant companies such as San Miguel and PAL speaks for itself. PALEA might lose a brilliant counsel but the country will gain a competent Ombudsman,” Rivera elaborated. Atty. Manuel accompanied the PALEA officers in the NLRC hearing this afternoon.

On Thursday, the House Labor Committee investigates the labor dispute at PAL. PALEA and Partido ng Manggagawa will mobilize its members for the hearing. “The hearing will be an opportunity for PALEA to confront PAL in a venue that is open to the public and media. In this arena, PAL management will be forced to argue its case in the glare of media cameras and lawmakers questions. We are prepared for this confrontation with PAL management,” Rivera asserted.

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