Thursday, October 27, 2011

PALEA holds motorcade on the 30th day of its protest vs. outsourcing

Press Release
October 27, 2011

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) held a motorcade around the Manila International Airport and the offices of Philippine Airlines (PAL) this morning as it entered the 30th day of what the union claims as an “illegal lockout.” “On the 30th day of the forcible eviction of protesting PALEA members from the airport and other offices, we remain strong in our resistance to the contractualization plan of PAL. PAL’s outsourcing scheme is a failure as shown by the continuing flight cancellations and delays,” declared Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

The motorcade started at 10:00 a.m today at PALEA’s protest camp outside the In-Flight Center along
MIA Road
and then passed by PAL’s Nichols Gate 1 and 2, Terminal 3, Terminal 2, Terminal 1 and then ended at the PNB Building at
Macapagal Ave.
A program was held at the PNB Building until 12 noon for a lunch break protest with employees there.

PALEA welcomed the support of the Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA) who in a press conference yesterday called for OFW’s to boycott PAL until it has heeded the demand of its workers to be accepted back to their regular jobs. MFA members from different parts of Asia attended the Asia Regional Conference on Decent Work for Domestic Workers. Rivera said that “We respect the boycott campaign of migrants and thank them for their support. Hopefully PAL will listen to the voice of its passengers who refuse to patronize a flag carrier of contractualization. PNoy should also stop using the OFW’s as an alibi for his inaction on the labor dispute.” He was referring to President Benigno Aquino’s speech at the FOCAP in which the latter said that he will not intervene on behalf of PALEA since the interests of 10 million OFW’s are a bigger priority.

Also in commemoration of PALEA’s 30th day of protest against contractualization, solidarity actions were held in San Francisco and Los Angeles by US unions and the Filipino-American community. In San Francisco, the groups picketed the Philippine consulate and PAL ticketing office, and submitted a letter of concern to Deputy Consul General Alfonso Ver.

Among the participants in the picket are the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers which represents PAL customer service agents in the San Francisco International Airport. The delegation raised to Mr. Ver the concern that airline service is deteriorating and passenger safety is put at risk by the untrained and overworked replacement workers who are now operating PAL flights, including the transpacific route which conveys many US nationals.

In Los Angeles, Fil-Am groups Alliance Philippines, Ecumenical Fellowship for Justice and Peace (EFJP) and Bantay Pilipinas-LA led the protest outside the consulate. On October 28, another picket is to be staged at the consulate in Chicago by the UNITE-HERE and UE unions, and the Filipino-American community in Illinois.

In his message to the solidarity actions in the US, Rivera said that “PAL’s outsourcing plan is an example of the corporate greed that has earned the outrage of working people in the America and the world. Organized action by workers is the antidote to the organized greed of corporations.”

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