November 3, 2011
On the second day of its Lakbay-Hustisya, the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) and labor groups Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and Alliance of Progressive Labor joined forces in a picket at one of Lucio Tan’s residences. Hundreds of protesters marched from
where they spent the night to Tan’s house at the back of Sto. Quiapo Church Domino Church in where they had a “tanghaliang tuyo” or boodle lunch to illustrate the contrast between the life of retrenched workers and the second richest Filipino. Quezon City
“The 99% came on foot to a mansion of the 99% to symbolize the wide gap between the rich and poor. Philippine Airlines earned P3 billion in net income last year but terminated 2,400 workers as part of a scheme to bust PALEA and increase profit,” asserted Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and PM vice chair.
Meanwhile PALEA slammed Sky Kitchen and Sky Logistics as illegal labor only contractors. “These supposed independent service providers cannot operate without using PAL’s facilities such as the In-Flight Center (IFC). This has been exposed by PAL’s failed attempts to disperse the protest camp and its desperate plea for help from employers’ organizations. PAL itself has admitted in tweeter messages that it served lunch boxes on its flights since Sky Kitchen and Sky Logistics are unable to use the IFC,” Rivera explained.
He added that “In contrast to PAL’s call for help from fellow capitalists, PALEA is seeking support from ordinary workers and the people. This is a battle between the 1% and the 99%, between corporate greed and human need.”
After the boodle lunch at Tan’s house, the Lakbay-Hustisya proceeded to the office of the National Labor Relations Commission where PALEA has a pending appeal on its complaint against PAL’s refusal to bargain. Later the marchers went to Welcome Rotonda by 5:00 p.m. for a short program to broadcast its advocacy against labor contractualization and corporate greed.
The protesters then marched on to the Holy Trinity Parish in Balic Balic,
where they celebrated a mass with Fr. Eric Adoviso and then spent the night. Tomorrow, the last day of the Lakbay-Hustisya, PALEA together with a coalition of labor groups will have a rally at Mendiola. Manila
Labor groups plan to lambast the government’s inaction on the PAL labor row even as its turns violent with the recent attack on the campout which saw seven PALEA members hurt and a bystander killed. “There must be decisive intervention from the government instead of feel-good statements and an inutile investigation. Contrast the Aquino administration’s inaction to the Australian government’s rapid intervention in the Qantas dispute’’ insisted Renato Magtubo, PM chair.