Thursday, September 8, 2011

A short-term inconvenience for a long-term gain

Press Statement
September 8, 2011
Gerry Rivera
PALEA President

Tomorrow is the deadline unilaterally imposed by the management of Philippine Airlines (PAL) for employees supposed to be terminated to avail of the separation package and apply as contractual workers in service providers.

But the active participation by PAL employees at yesterday’s prayer protest at the Terminal 2 chapel and noise barrage at the corner of MIA and Sucat Roads has revealed that the outsourcing plan will fail. Despite the attempt by airport authorities to ban the mass at the Terminal 2 chapel, the unity of PAL employees prevailed. Similarly despite management’s continuing attempts to cajole and coerce PAL employees, an overwhelming majority has defied the notices of termination.

An irresistible force has been blocked by an immovable object. The resistance of PAL employees has frustrated management’s desperate attempt to impose contractualization at the flag carrier. But the fight is not yet over since PAL has announced that some 2,600 PAL employees will be out of work by October 1.

PAL is deliberately challenging the unity and courage of its employees. Management has pushed PAL workers to the wall and there is no other way but to fight back with all the weapons at our disposal.

Thus we ask for the understanding of the riding public. Any inconvenience to the passengers and clients of PAL will be short-term but the benefits will be long-term. The maintenance of regular jobs at PAL will ensure the safe operation of the flag carrier. Moreover it will mean a decent job and future not just for PAL employees but for all Filipino workers.

We therefore ask for the solidarity ng mga kababayang Pilipino at laluna mga kapatid na manggagawa. This is a fight not just for the rights and welfare of PAL employees. This is a struggle for the dignity and future of all Filipino workers. There is no dignity, there is no future in a contractual job for workers.

The unity of labor groups and the solidarity of church institutions at this press conference is an expression of this common advocacy for regular and against contractualization.

The workers united will never be defeated. Ang laban ng PALEA ay laban ng lahat!

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