|UNITE HERE@Phil. Embassy in DC|
|Handing letter to labor attache|
“International support will go a long way in sustaining and winning PALEA’s fight,” asserted Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.
Last Friday, a delegation from UNITE HERE, a union of workers in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, and airport industries in the US and Canada, delivered a letter of concern to the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC. The delegation of five from UNITE HERE met Luzviminda Padilla, a labor attaché, who indicated that the letter will be forwarded to Ambassador Jose Cuisia.
The main point raised by UNITE HERE in its letter is that the Philippine government may be in violation of internationally recognized conventions protecting workers freedom of association, right to collective bargaining and right to peaceful concerted actions including strikes. Also brought up by UNITE HERE is the concern that airline service is deteriorating and moreover passenger safety is put at risk by the untrained and overworked replacement workers who are now operating flights of Philippine Airlines (PAL), including the transpacific route which conveys many US nationals.
On October 27, members of labor unions and representatives of the Filipino-American community will picket the Philippine consulate and PAL ticketing office in
. The picket will be led by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers which represents PAL customer agents working in the San Francisco, California airport. Last October 14, a delegation of Japanese railway workers picketed the Philippine Embassy in San Francisco and also submitted a letter of concern regarding PALEA’s plight. Tokyo
In its message of solidarity, the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA), which represents Qantas engineers, declared that “all ALAEA members stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with PALEA in their ongoing battle and will support them in their fight against unjust treatment. We will also fully support your efforts through the International Transport Workers Federation with the linking of all international affiliates backing your full reinstatement.”