Sunday, May 1, 2011

PALEA: Good news on May 1 is PNoy declaring policy vs. contractua​lization

Press Release

The good news that we wish on Labor Day is PNoy announcing that he is against outsourcing. But whether it is good or bad news, we want to hear PNoy speak on his personal position on the issue of contractualization. With PALEA’s motion for reconsideration pending at the Office of the President, PNoy cannot stay silent anymore and it is high time that he say to the PAL employees if he favors the straight road of regular jobs or the crooked path of contractualization.

As we commemorate Labor Day on May 1, we take note of the continuing decline in the number of labor unions and the number of workers covered by collective bargaining agreements in the country. This means that an increasing number of workers become more vulnerable to rights abuses, in the absence of labor unions and CBAs.

The case of PALEA is a perfect example of the continuing threat to workers' rights and trade unionism in the Philippines. PALEA is a big labor union with a long history. Compared to other labor unions, PALEA can be considered as "advanced". It has an existing CBA that prohibits the contracting out of jobs that are performed by regular employees. Despite these, PALEA is now under threat of annihilation.

With PAL's outsourcing plan, the CBA prohibition will be ignored; more than 2,600 employees will be terminated. Thirteen out of twenty one PALEA officers will be terminated. Only 900 rank and file employees, mostly administrative staff, will remain after the first wave of the mass termination. We expect that the first batch of 2,600 employees will be followed by further termination as the contracting out of the core services will also affect the administrative staff.

PAL violates the workers' rights to security of tenure. PAL violates our rights to collective bargaining. PAL attempts to destroy the union and deprive its workers of their right to self-organization. Sadly, the government allows PAL to do all these. Is there any cause for celebration on Labor Day?

But we will be out on the streets on May 1, to celebrate workers' solidarity and to manifest our continuing assertion and defense of our rights. We will be out on the streets to make clear our statement that we will fight for our jobs and our rights. We will do this not only for ourselves, but also for the sake of all workers in the country.

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