Thursday, February 2, 2012

PALEA 300 moves for the dismissal of PAL harassment case

Press Release
February 2, 2012

The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) will move today for the dismissal of the case filed by the management of Philippine Airlines (PAL) for alleged violation of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines law arising from the September 27 protest at the Manila International Airport.

Hundreds of PALEA members also held a rally this afternoon at the Pasay Hall of Justice to coincide with the court hearing on what the union describes as a “harassment case” by PAL regarding supposed destruction of equipment during the airport protest.

“It behooves the court to dismiss this apparent harassment case because of a fatal flaw. PAL’s lawyers do not have any clearance from the Department of Labor and Employment in filing the case. Any complaint arising from a labor dispute requires such a clearance before civil courts can take jurisdiction,” asserted Gerry Rivera, PALEA president.

Last January 11, the 258 PALEA members who are respondents to the case, appeared at the Pasay regional trial court for the first hearing. The respondents are called PALEA 300 since PAL in previous press releases has claimed that some 300 PALEA members joined the September 27 protest. The next hearing is scheduled for February 9. In an allusion to the mythical Spartans, Rivera declared that “The respondents to the case, the PALEA 300 are brave men and women who will die fighting instead of surrendering to tyranny by PAL.”

He claimed that “PAL is blindly shooting nuisance cases at PALEA members in a desperate bid to force them to accept the separation package and sign up for the illegal labor contractors Sky Logistics and Sky Kitchen.”

Rivera asserts further that PAL services deteriorated sharply after September not because of damaged equipments but due to lack of skilled and experienced manpower after PALEA members, in opposition to outsourcing, refused to transfer to assigned service providers.

PALEA insists that PAL’s waning reputation and deteriorating quality service can only be saved by getting its regular workers back. Supporters of PALEA are calling for a boycott of PAL and its sister company Air Philippines until the laid off workers are reinstated to their regular jobs.

On Monday, hundreds of PALEA members will join retrenched flights attendants of PAL in a rally at the impeachment trial since the president of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association is expected to testify for the prosecution.

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