December 09, 2012
Invoking the principle workers’ rights are human rights, members of the broad labor coalition Nagkaisa! will be celebrating the International Human Rights Day tomorrow, December 10.
But instead of a traditional march to Mendiola, Nagkaisa! members is holding a ‘Jericho March’ at the headquarters of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) in Pasig City to lend support to PALEA’s year-old battle for reinstatement and labor justice.
“The labor and human rights movement’s support to PALEA will never end until the ‘walls of Jericho’ which were preventing their reinstatement crumble,” declared Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) chair and one of Nagkaisa! convenors Renato Magtubo.
Aside from labor, the human rights community lead by the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA) is joining the protest. Both argued that PAL’s outsourcing/contractualization of regular jobs was in gross violation of the workers’ constitutional right to security of tenure.
SMC President Ramon Ang took control of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) in April this year after the beer giant infused at least US$500 million of fresh equity to the ailing flag carrier. And upon his takeover of the captain’s seat, he declared that one of his top priorities was to resolve the lingering labor dispute in PAL.
“On the part of organized labor, we strongly believe that a just resolution of the PAL-PALEA dispute will serve the best interest of both parties, including the riding public who want to see PAL fly again with pride,” explained Magtubo.
PALEA members had been fighting a desperate battle for reinstatement after the old management of the flag carrier locked them out in September last year after 2,400 regular workers refused to be outsourced in another service company.
Magtubo said the policy of contractualization demonstrated in PAL’s outsourcing plan is the latest form of modern-day slavery that workers want eradicated.