October 12, 2011
The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) today said the PAL management can do more good to the country and the riding public if it submits to the fact that its outsourcing plan has failed rather than make false claims that PAL operations are back to normal while blaming PALEA for its cancelled flights.
“Please don’t make false claims to the public that PAL is 95% operational when on the contrary our terminal remains a ghost town as many flights remain cancelled. Just tell the truth that the outsourcing plan has failed because of the lack of skilled manpower and not because of an absurd fairy tale of harassment coming from PALEA,” said PALEA president Gerry Rivera.
This unsolicited advice was made by PALEA as it mobilized its members and supporters into another peaceful mass action today at the
near the entrance of Terminal 2. A simultaneous action is also going to be held in Cebu.
Joining PALEA’s protest today are the Church people led by Bishop Broderick Pabillo, head of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines–National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA). It is the second time Bishop Pabillo officiated a mass for PALEA. The Church has been very supportive of PALEA’s struggle against contractualization. Last October 8, during the 3rd Anniversary of the Church-Labor Conference (CLC), Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales assured PALEA and all the suffering workers of the Church’s unequivocal support.
Tomorrow, labor groups under the Koalisyon Laban sa Kontraktwalisasyon (Kontra) and the Church-Labor Conference (CLC) will stage another big mass action at Mendiola to ask Malacanang to scrap Lucio Tan’s outsourcing plan.
Local civil society groups on the other hand have already launched a boycot PAL campaign on-line, while trade union groups from the United States, Europe, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and many more have already expressed their solidarity to PALEA and are planning to hold protest actions most probably at the Philippine consulate offices.
Meanwhile Rivera was saddened by the statement made by President Aquino that while the Palace emphatizes with PALEA, the interest of OFWs is more its priority. “The President should not pit one issue over another since PALEA members and OFWs are workers riding the same boat. Obviously the one who’s rocking the boat, the Terminator Lucio Tan, has once again escaped the eyes of the President.”
Rivera, who is also the vice president of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), said the protest movement against mass layofff and outsourcing is still gaining momentum and he thanked everybody for taking the PALEA struggle as “laban ng lahat”.
He added that aside from the riding public, the Tourism Congress has already taken notice of the harsh impact of this continuing labor dispute at PAL to the country’s tourism industry as well as on business.
But the labor leader pointed out that the current operational problems facing PAL was due to Lucio Tan’s insistence that regular workers be replaced by contractuals, which, unfortunately, cannot be done overnight and without inviting a fight from the Paleans and the entire labor movement in the country.
“So why blame the workers who have worked hard, shown loyalty and have considered PAL their second family? It is Lucio Tan who wants us out of PAL. And remember it is the same Lucio Tan who uses all his powers and influence in different branches of government to strike out the 1,400 flight attendants,” stressed Rivera.
More than 1,000 PALEA members remain solidly intact at their protest camp located outside PAL’s In-Flight Services building since being locked out by PAL on September 27 and October 1. Other members are also still in protest at PAL’s outlying areas in different parts of the country.