Thursday, October 6, 2011

PALEA raises safety concerns and poor service as overworked admin staff, trainees handle PAL flights

05 September 2011

The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) asserted that the safety of airline passengers maybe compromised with overworked management staff and contractual trainees handling the flights of Philippine Airlines (PAL).

PAL was forced to deploy management staff to handle few flights after it terminated some 2,600 ground crew on September 27 and October 1.  However, because PALEA rejected the outsourcing and contractualization of their members to the assigned service providers,  PAL is left with no skilled manpower to handle its flights.

“We were replaced by untrained and overworked management staff so safety and poor service is really a big concern that should not be ignored by the riding public and more so by the government.  Moreover, safety and poor service problems would also affect the long term viability of PAL,” said PALEA President Gerry Rivera.

Rivera, who is also the vice president of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), cited the case of of an unqualified scab who damaged an Airbus A340 with aircraft ID no. 3432 when he accidentally rammed the airstep into the door of the said Airbus on September 27, the day when PALEA members were locked out by the management as a response to their early morning protest. 

‘Missed u guys’

Concerned airport employees as well as sympathetic cabin crews have also been sending PALEA, through the social media, pictures with ‘missed u guys’ message of how catering, passenger and cargo handling are being mishandled by unqualified staffs.   While a member who opted to transfer to Sky Logistics had expressed frustrations on the situation inside their work stations.

PALEA said their members have already alerted the Civil Aviation Authority (CAAP), the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) inspectors as well as the labor department about these violations while civil society organizations are planning to raise these safety concerns to the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

Rivera said the only way to address the situation is to bring back PAL employees who were locked out by the company on September 27 and October 1.

CBA case

Meanwhile, PALEA was not surprised when the National Labor Relations (NLRC) junked its case for unfair labor practice against the PAL management for its refusal to bargain.

“Alam ng marami na ang NLRC ay libingan ng mga kaso ng manggagawa, at alam din namin yan,” said Rivera, maintaining that PAL’s position to negotiate for a new collective bargaining agreement ONLY AFTER THE OUTSOURCING PLAN is tantamount to refusal to bargain.

“Kung hindi nila nakita ang masamang lohika na ito ng posisyon ng PAL, eh baka nakapikit ang mata nila habang kumikita,”  lamented Rivera.

Rivera said the CBA case is separate from the pending appeal on outsourcing case they have filed before the Court of Appeals, thus the union is still studying other legal options in pursuing this particular case. 

“At kung totoong gustong magnegotiate ng PAL para sa CBA, dapat magnegotiate na sya sa PALEA,” concludes Rivera.

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