Friday, September 9, 2011

PM to Credit Suisse: Scrap anti-labor loan agreement with PAL

09 September 2011

The militant labor group Partido ng Manggagawa (Labor Party-Philippines) today called on Credit Suisse, a leading global financial services company, to scrap its recently concluded debt deal with Philippine Airlines (PAL) which would finance the implementation of the flag carrier’s highly denounced outsourcing plan.

The call was made in reaction to reports that Credit Suisse has granted PAL a US$50 million loan to partly finance the airline’s mass layoff and labor contractualization plan.   PAL chief finance officer Jose Gabriel Olives, disclosed on Thursday that the money will be used to fund the separation pay for some 2,600 PAL employees who will be laid off as a consequence of outsourcing.

According to Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) chair Renato Magtubo, Credit Suisse’s funding of Lucio Tan’s outsourcing plan is tantamount to promoting a patently anti-labor social policy and even runs counter to the company’s own employment and social responsibility policies.

“It’s like using Swiss money to fund Hitler’s holocaust campaign in Europe,” said Magtubo who described labor contractualization as a modern form of  ‘social segregation policy’ by separating ‘core’ from  ‘non-core’ workers the ultimate aim of which is to annihilate  established international labor and human rights principles -- specifically the equal opportunity and non-discrimination principles.

The labor group furthered that Credit Suisse’s involvement in the PAL labor dispute by way of financing the outsourcing plan can be interpreted as a direct interference by a foreign creditor to our internal affairs.

“More deplorable, however, is the Credit Suisse’s funding of a patently anti-labor social policy as the PAL outsourcing plan is the biggest socially and legally contested labor issue in the Philippines today,” argued Magtubo, reiterating the labor sector’s collective position that PAL’s outsourcing plan was a gross violation of workers’ constitutionally and internationally guaranteed rights to security of tenure, freedom of association and collective bargaining.

The group likewise advised Credit Suisse of the fact that based on the labor department’s own certification, the three service providers (Sky Kitchen, Sky Logistics, and SPI Global Holdings) contracted out by PAL for the outsourcing plan are NOT registered contractors/subcontractors as required under Department Order No. 18, series of 2002, and thus are presumed to be engaged in illegal labor-only-contracting.

Magtubo pointed out further that in funding Lucio Tan’s outsourcing plan, Credit Suisse has gone as far as violating one of its core corporate values which proclaims adherence to the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

On October 2008, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of UDHR, Credit Suisse CEO Brady W. Dougan also signed the UN Global Compact CEO Statement on Human Rights which call on governments to implement fully their human rights obligations as companies reiterate their own commitment to respect and support human rights within their sphere of influence. 

The labor group also went on to check the Credit Suisse website ( and found the company’s own policy as an employer which states that, "Our success is driven by our most important asset, our people. In order to attract the most talented employees, we strive to offer them an environment in which they can thrive. This includes training and development programs, internal mobility opportunities and excellent employee benefits."

Likewise under its Responsibility to Society section, it is declared that, "At Credit Suisse, our commitment to society and social issues has a long tradition. Together with partner organizations, we strive to improve living standards and to provide development opportunities for disadvantaged people in communities around the world."

“These are big words.  But Credit Suisse is either true to its tradition and declared social commitments, or it has mastered the art of doublespeak just like the PAL and other anti-labor companies,” said Magtubo, stressing the point that the PAL’s contractualization plan is the reverse of an environment where workers can thrive and improve their living standards.

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