Friday, August 26, 2011

PALEA files petition at Court of Appeals

Press Release
August 26, 2011

The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) this afternoon filed a petition for certiorari at the Court of Appeals (CA) to question the Office of the President (OP) ruling on the legality of the outsourcing plan at Philippine Airlines (PAL). PALEA officers led by President Gerry Rivera together with their lawyers Attys. Joeven Dellosa and Marlon Manuel filed the petition late this afternoon.

PALEA maintains its position that management cannot prematurely implement the decision of the OP the same being not final and executory. We will exhaust and exercise the available remedies among them the perfected petition at the CA,” declared Rivera.

PALEA’s filing of a CA petition comes on the heels of an announcement yesterday by PAL that it has sent termination notices to some 2,600 employees which will be effective on September 30. The petition for certiorari or review is docketed as C.A. G.R. No. 120977 and seeks to annul the OP decision for grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.

Rivera reiterated that “If PAL management pushes through with the mass layoffs, we will construe that as a defiance to judicial process and a direct challenge to the union. PALEA will act to defend its members.”

In preparation, PALEA is calling for solidarity from other labor groups and its allies in civil society for any mass action that it will hold in the coming days. “PALEA is the last line of defense against contractualization. We are thus calling for solidarity from our brothers and sisters in the labor movement and our allies in institutions such as the Church,” announced Rivera.

He elaborated that “PAL employees have sacrificed for 13 years already their right to bargain collectively and now that the flag carrier is financially healthy, it will reward its workers by mass termination. Since 1998, the collective bargaining agreement has been suspended and as a consequence, for example, the last wage hike for PAL’s ground crew was in 2008. But we are fighting not just for our welfare as regular PAL employees. We are also struggling for the future of all Filipino workers. There is no dignity and justice in a contractual job for workers.”

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo has already scored the OP for its adverse ruling on PALEA while airline unions in the Asia Pacific and the global union International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) declared solidarity with PALEA last August 12. The aviation workers announced they will not act as scabs in case of a strike at PAL. The flag carrier has said that other airlines have committed to service PAL’s routes should it be hit by a work stoppage.

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