Monday, March 5, 2012

Women workers launch kick-off march for International Women’s Day celebration

PALEA Women’s Committee
5 March 2012

Women members of the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) joined by Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) held a rally at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Intramuros, Manila to assail the agency’s connivance in the suppression of women workers rights. The protesters will bring female paper dolls with the necks in a noose to highlight the plight of women workers under the present government.

Among the rallyists will be breadwinners, single mothers and widows who are all facing extreme difficulties as PALEA enters its sixth month of a lockout by the Lucio Tan-owned Philippine Airlines (PAL).

“This is our kickoff activity to celebrate March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD),” said Arlene Ladimo of PALEA Women’s Committee.  “The DOLE twice affirmed the outsourcing plan of PAL despite its P3 billion profit belieing its claims of losses. After the mass layoff, now going on six months, we have been facing extreme difficulties i.e., sustaining the education of our children, food expenses, water and electricity bills, etc., etc.  This is especially tough for us, women, who are single mothers, widows and breadwinners,” Ms. Ladimo explained.

“But, of course, despite the hardship, we will not give up.  We will not give up our rights as workers and as women, we will never give up the future of our kids.  We are not alone in this fight.  We are well aware that we face the same situation together with millions of Filipino women–facing unemployment problems, high prices and lack of social services,” added Ms. Ladimo.

“Nakikiisa kami sa laban ng PALEA women gaya ng pakikiisa namin sa laban ng kababaihang manggagawa at maralita.  In this year’s celebration of Women’s Day, our demands are ‘Trabaho para sa Kababaihan!,’ ‘Ibaba presyo ng pangunahing bilihin!’ and ‘Dagdagan ang badyet sa pampublikong serbisyo!,’” explained PM Secretary General Judy Ann Miranda.

After the rally, several of the PALEA members attended the hearing at the DOLE regarding their illegal suspension by Philippine Airlines for supporting the union picketline.

On Wednesday women members of PALEA and PM will join a march for economic and labor justice that will proceed from UST to Mendiola in Manila. On March 8, PALEA and PM will have another mass action to commemorate International Women’s Day as part of the global activities by women’s groups.

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