Saturday, October 1, 2011

PALEA: PAL’s alleged losses and ruin is a fairy tale

Press Release
October 1, 2011

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) called the alleged financial ruin of Philippine Airlines (PAL) as “a modern-day fairy tale.” “PAL does not have to choose between saving the jobs of 2,600 PALEA members and the remaining 5,000 employees since it is not in danger of bankruptcy. PAL has not been able to start the outsourcing plan for the past two years because of PALEA’s defiance and yet it earned a net income of $72.5 million or more than P3 billion in its last fiscal year and is already projecting a modest profit for the present year,” asserted Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

He added that “The threat of ruin if outsourcing is not implemented is plain and simple black propaganda and blackmail by PAL. The reason the dispute has dragged on for the last two years and the present standoff exists is because of PAL’s intransigence.”

PALEA lambasted PAL’s refusal to open talks to resolve the labor dispute. “It has become clear since the forcible eviction of protesting PALEA members that the replacement workers and scabs cannot normalize operations and make PAL fly. The failure of the outsourcing plan is the cause of the continuing flight cancellations and delays,” Rivera insisted. PALEA is calling on PAL end the dispute by halting the outsourcing plan pending the final decision of the courts.

Meanwhile protests continue to spread to PAL’s outlying stations as locked out and laid off PALEA members in Cebu set up their own campout today at the Mactan International Airport. This afternoon a “Lakbayan Laban sa Kontraktwalisasyon” of some 500 workers will march from Mandaue City to the protest camp at the airport. Yesterday rallies were held by PALEA and labor groups in Bacolod and Davao to lambast the contractualization plan of PAL.

“PAL is guilty of a double standard. When it is losing a case such as the illegal dismissal of 1,400 flight attendants, it insists on exhausting the judicial process. It fought the case up to the Supreme Court and even delayed the final resolution by filing two motions for reconsideration. We congratulate our brothers and sisters cabin crew for their hard-won victory but we will not allow PALEA members to become contractuals and our families to suffer in the coming years only to be later vindicated by the courts that outsourcing is illegal as we contend,” Rivera explained.

On their first day as officially jobless, the 2,600 PALEA members continue their protest but using the cultural form. Artists from the Dakila Collective for Modern Heroism will perform at a solidarity concert dubbed “Pamorningan sa PALEA” starting this evening at the protest camp at the PAL In-flight Center. Dakila is led by renowned artists Lourd de Veyra and Noel Cabangon.

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