September 21, 2012
The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) commemorated its 66th anniversary today with a vow to fight contractualization at Philippine Airlines (PAL) and elsewhere. “PALEA @ 66 pledges never again to outsourcing,” said Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), in reference to the popular anti-martial law slogan whose declaration is also being remembered today.
At 7:00 am today, some 100 PALEA members in red shorts and shirts held a “Jog for Regular Jobs” around the perimeter of its protest camp outside the PAL In-Flight Center. “A sound mind and body together with job security is the basis for productive work. This is the message we wish to send with this early morning mass action,” explained Rivera.
A mass to be celebrated by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo at 10:00 am was the highlight of PALEA’s anniversary commemoration. A mass meeting followed the mass in which speakers from PALEA and supporters such as PM, Nagkaisa, the Church-Labor Conference, community and civil society groups spoke.
Renato Magtubo, PM chair, averred that “PALEA is able to celebrate its 66th year of existence today thanks to the courageous resistance of its members to outsourcing and union busting and the steadfast support of labor and church groups to its fight for regular jobs.”
The anniversary celebration today is also a build-up to the “Global Day of Action against Outsourcing” on September 27 in which protest actions will be staged by aviation and other workers in Australia, Turkey, India, Canada, USA and Germany. PALEA will commemorate its one year of protest against outsourcing with a rally at Mendiola together with Nagkaisa and then a motorcade to the protest camp after. Simultaneous rallies will also be held in Cebu at the PALEA picketline near the Mactan International Airport and in Davao at the downtown area.
“If airline workers take industrial action, on the same day, in a coordinated way, all over the world, the struggle against job outsourcing will be stronger and more effective,” asserted the groups which have joined for the global day of action. Aside from PALEA, the Turkish civil aviation union Hava-Is, unions at Australia’s Qantas, the Lufthansa flight attendants union UFO, Canadian aviation union CAW-TCA, Air India unions, UNITE-HERE in the USA and the Australia Asia Worker Links are participating.
PALEA also announced that on October 8 that Nagkaisa will hold a picket at House of Representatives to push for the plenary discussion of the Security of Tenure bill. “It is not just the bills for reproductive health and freedom of information that are jammed at the legislative mill, but other real social reform measures such as the security of tenure bill which seeks to restrict the epidemic of contractual work and the proliferation of 6 months endo jobs,” Rivera elaborated.