Saturday, October 8, 2011

Church Labor Conference appeals for a just and equitable resolution of PAL dispute

09 October 2011
Church-Labor Conference

Anchored on the Church’s social teachings upholding the primacy of labor over capital, people over profit, the Church and the broad labor coalition under the Church Labor Conference (CLC) are appealing for a just and equitable resolution to the ongoing labor dispute at Philippine Airlines. 

The appeal was made during the 3rd anniversary assembly of the CLC held today at the Arzobispado de Manila in Intramuros Manila.  The CLC is co-chaired by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, director of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) and former partylist representative Renato Magtubo of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).

The CLC was very supportive of the PAL workers’ struggle against contractualization, the Hanjin workers fight against poor working conditions and contractualization, and the unresolved dispute at the Hotel Dusit on security of tenure and the right to organize, among other issues.

The CLC condemned PAL for prematurely implementing the legally contested outsourcing plan.  It also blamed the Aquino administration for giving the go signal for the mass termination and contractualization of more than 2,600 employees of the flag carrier, and for ordering the violent dispersal by the Philippine National Police (PNP) of the September 27 PALEA protest.

The Aquino government, the group said, should have played the role of a Knight protecting the rights of workers rather than joined Terminator Lucio Tan in his final charge against the Paleans.

The CLC said is no valid cause for PAL to terminate their regular employees to whom PAL owes its business success.  PAL’s financial statement shows that they are not in precarious financial situation because they are earning a huge amount of Php3 billion every year (please check this data). This amount can easily cover the costs of PALEA’s collective bargaining proposal for 2008-2013. PAL has also reported expansion of aircraft fleet in the past years.

“To retrench employees and outsource regular posts at a healthy financial condition of PAL smacks of deciet and an outright disregard of the prevailing laws of the land.  These actions of PAL, with the approval of the Aquino government, only show the anti-labor intentions of Mr. Lucio Tan.  It is crystal clear that the real intentions of the outsourcing plan is to destroy the workers’ right to self-organization, collective bargaining and security of tenure,” said the CLC in a statement.

By calling the spinoff a management prerogative, the CLC said Malacanang precariously confers license to contractualization, random termination and a “Fire-all-you can” policy—a gateway to a contractual Philippines.

“Walang Dangal sa Trabahong Kontraktwal”, declared the CLC. 

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