Tuesday, August 23, 2011

PM: Subject outsourcing to bargaining talks to prevent strike

PALEA and Church-Labor Conference ends motorcade with program at Ninoy Aquino monumnet in Ayala Ave.
Press Release
August 23, 2011

Amidst the Aquino administration’s apprehensions about a strike at Philippine Airlines (PAL), the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) proposed that the controversial outsourcing plan be subject to collective bargaining negotiations. Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson, said that “Outsourcing should be part of bilateral talks between the company and the union instead of unilaterally imposed on its employees. This is the solution to the two-year long labor row between PAL and the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA).”

Yesterday Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas called on PAL to setup contingency plans for a work stoppage at the flag carrier. Last week Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda asked PALEA not to paralyze the operations of the flag carrier.

Magtubo argued that “Instead of preparing to break any picket line and calling on PALEA not to strike—a right is guaranteed by law and an instrument of last resort by workers— government must exert moral suasion on PAL to subject the outsourcing plan to collective bargaining negotiations.”

He added that “For 13 long years, PAL employees have sacrificed 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, just to cite an example, the last wage hike for PAL’s ground crew was in 2008.”

Meanwhile Gerry Rivera, PALEA president, announced that they are preparing for more protests this week even as their lawyers are finalizing the petition to be filed at the Court of Appeals. Yesterday PALEA led a protest motorcade of some 20 cars and 50 motorcycles from the Philippine Export Zone Authority office in
Roxas Boulevard
to the Ninoy Aquino monument in
Ayala Ave.
in Makati. PALEA insists that the Office of the President ruling allowing the outsourcing plan is not yet executory pending a final judicial resolution of the case and vows to resist should management prematurely implement the mass layoff of 2,600 workers.

“If PNoy wants to prevent a strike at PAL, government should have heeded workers demands for regular jobs instead of agreeing to Lucio Tan’s contractualization scheme,” Magtubo added. Describing PALEA as “the last line of defense against contractualization,” PM and other big labor groups have vowed to support the embattled union in its fight.

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