September 26, 2012
Some 1,000 workers will be mobilized tomorrow by the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) and the labor coalition Nagkaisa in a rally at Mendiola tomorrow. The rally marks the Filipino workers participation in the “Global Day of Action against Outsourcing” by labor unions in four continents. Aside from commemorating the anniversary of PALEA’s historic protest against outsourcing last year, the Mendiola rally will push for the passage of the security of tenure bill pending at Congress.
“It is not just the bills for reproductive health and freedom of information that are jammed at the legislative mill, but other vital 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,” explained Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).
The groups also announced that on October 8 workers will picket the House of Representatives to call for the plenary discussion of the security of tenure bill. The House Labor Committee has reported out a consolidated version of the bill but the Committee on Rules has not scheduled it for sponsorship and interpellation at the plenary level.
After the Mendiola mobilization, the rallyists will hold a motorcade to the PALEA protest camp for an afternoon mass meeting. Simultaneous mobilizations are also planned in Cebu at the PALEA picketline near the Mactan International Airport and in Davao at the downtown area.
Meanwhile rallies, leafleteering, mass meetings and other protest actions at airports are to be held in Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, Istanbul in Turkey, Frankfurt in Germany, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Saint John in Canada, Mumbai in India and Honolulu in Hawaii. Solidarity messages have also been extended by labor centers and unions in Hong Kong, Seoul, Hanoi and San Francisco.
“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 are coordinating for the global day of action. Aside from PALEA, the Turkish civil aviation union Hava-Is, Qantas unions, the Lufthansa flight attendants union UFO, Canadian airline workers union CAW-TCA, Air India unions, UNITE-HERE in the USA and the Australia Asia Worker Links are participating.
Similar to PALEA, the groups participating in the day of action are embroiled in labor rows over job security and working conditions. Hava-Is is demanding the reinstatement of 305 members dismissed over protests against a controversial government ban on strikes in the aviation industry. Qantas management grounded its entire fleet last year in response to rolling strikes by its pilots and ground crew.
UFO recently won substantial concessions including limits to outsourcing after a strike that disrupted Lufthansa’s flights. CAW-TCA and other Air Canada unions were involved in disputes over pay and outsourcing, just like Air India workers. The UNITE-HERE union is campaigning for a boycott of the global hotel chain Hyatt over a host of issues including use of contract labor.