Thursday, November 24, 2011

PALEA holds protest; disputes PAL’s alleged return to normalcy

Press Release
November 24, 2011

Members of the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) will troop to the Pasay Hall of Justice this afternoon in support of several colleagues who are charged in a civil case filed by Philippine Airlines. Judge Racquelen Vasquez of Pasay Regional Trial Court Branch 116 will hear at 2:00 p.m. today PAL’s complaint in which they ask for the dismantling of the protest camp.

Today’s protest also coincides with the resumption of normal operations by PAL as per its announcement yesterday. PALEA however disputes this claim and disparages it as a “praise release.” Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and Partido ng Manggagawa vice chair, “PAL’s operations remain abnormal as exposed by the 3-day delay in a Los Angeles-Manila flight last November 17 and another seven-hour delay in a Manila-Bangkok flight last Sunday. But these are just the tip of the iceberg as most of the flight issues are unreported by the media or covered up.”

“We suggest that the media investigate the results of the recently concluded US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) audit of PAL as an indicator of the alleged normalization of operations. A third-party audit such as the FAA’s is an objective guide rather than PAL’s self-serving claims. The results of the audit will serve to validate PALEA’s assertions that the outsourcing scheme is a failure, and that safety and service has been compromised by the untrained and overworked scabs that are now operating the flights,” Rivera added.

Meanwhile PALEA remains confident that the civil case being heard by Judge Vasquez will be dismissed. “PALEA’s protest camp arose out of the labor dispute between
PAL and PALEA and thus jurisdiction properly resides in the labor no civil courts. In any case, a picketline or campout is an activity allowed by law. What is illegal is the forcible and violent dispersal of a picketline as what was attempted last October 29 by hired goons,”
Rivera explained.

Seven PALEA members were injured in the daybreak attack while one of the paid goons was apprehended and confessed to the police that they were hired by management for P200.

The afternoon rally by PALEA is likewise a buildup activity for the coming November 30 protest by labor groups. Thousands of workers are expected to lead the commemoration of Bonifacio Day with a mobilization at Mendiola followed by a motorcade to the PALEA protest camp. On Saturday, a pre-November 30 concert will be held at the campout to be emceed by concerned artist and TV personality Tado Jimenez.

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