Friday, September 16, 2011

PALEA rally today is warning to PAL vs. lockout of workers

Press Release
September 16, 2011

The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) will mobilize more than a thousand employees of Philippine Airlines (PAL) in a big rally this afternoon at the airport. “The mass participation by PAL employees in today’s protest is an expression of unity and defiance against the outsourcing and contractualization plan. This is a warning to PAL against enforcing a lockout of its workers after September 30,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

The protesters will assemble by 3:00 p.m. at the PAL Nichols Gate 2 and then march to the Our Lady of the Airways Parish (OLAP) at the corner of
MIA Road
Sucat Road
. At OLAP, PALEA will hold a prayer rally and a protest program that will last until 8:00 p.m.

Also participating in the protest action today are hundreds of members of labor and church groups that have been supporting PALEA’s fight for regular jobs. Renato Magtubo, chairperson of Partido ng Manggagawa asserted that “We say to our brothers and sisters in PALEA: Hindi kayo nag-iisa! The fight against contractualization is a struggle for the dignity and future of all workers.”

Spouses and teenage children of PALEA members are joining the rally. Last September 10, PALEA held a family day to involve the spouses and children of its members in the campaign against contractualization. Nerissa Andolong, wife of a PAL employee, exclaimed that We are 101% behind PALEA. Family members will be at the protest today.”

Also participating in the rally today are representatives of newly-hired and then newly-fired customer service agents (CSA) of PAL. These CSA’s were employed in batches last June and July for six-month contracts but PAL pre-terminated them for no reason early this week. Rivera added that “The fate of these CSA’s is a preview of the life of workers in the service providers. Their working conditions will be at the whim of the company and they can be fired at will. They will have no voice in the workplace and no union to protect them.”

Leading the solidarity for PALEA is the Church-Labor Conference headed by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo. Last Tuesday, Bishop Pabillo convened a multisectoral forum attended by parish organizations and lay leaders to consolidate support for PALEA. Explaining the support of church organization for PALEA’s protest against PAL’s lockout of its workers, Pabillo said that If it is in self defense, then it is justified. This should be an action of all people, not just PALEA.”

In a statement, the labor groups supporting PALEA declared that “The decision of the Office of the President and PAL’s outsourcing plan is a blatant attempt to revise labor relations in the country and rollback workers rights. Allowing PAL to layoff some 2,600 workers despite some PhP5 billion in yearly income is a policy shift that says to employers: fire-all-you-can. It mimics the fire-at-will employment relations in the United States where huge profitable corporations outsource and layoff with abandon.”

No comments: