Saturday, November 2, 2013

Solidarity Message to the Seoul National University Hospital workers

We extend the hand of solidarity to our brothers and sisters who are working at Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) and fighting for decent pay, better working conditions and protection of job security. The struggles you are waging mirror the same demands that fellow workers are currently fighting for at Philippine Airlines, the flag carrier of our country.

The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) and the Partido ng Manggagawa (Labor Party-Philippines) support the strike of the SNUH union chapter of the KPTU Health Workers Solidarity Division. In the face of intransigence by management, only industrial action can force employers to heed the demands of workers. We condemn the SNUH management to slash labor costs, undercut labor standards, weaken job security and lower quality health service.

The same issues animate the struggles that PALEA is waging. Some 2,400 PALEA members were locked out and terminated as part of a plan to outsource the airport services, in-flight catering and call center reservations departments of Philippine Airlines to so-called service providers. The outsourcing plan sought not just to demolish job security but bust the union itself.

To resist the imminent implementation of the outsourcing plan, on September 27, 2011 PALEA undertook a protest at the Manila International Airport that paralyzed the operations of Philippine Airlines. The swift answer of the government and management was the forcible eviction of protesting PALEA members from the airport and other offices using police forces and security guards. For more than two years now, PALEA has maintained protest camps outside the international airports of Manila and Cebu, the two biggest cities in the Philippines.

Through the determined resistance of PALEA members and the solidarity of the workers movement in our country and even abroad, the new management of Philippine Airlines management was forced to negotiate. At present a settlement is near at hand that includes the return of retrenched PALEA workers back to their regular jobs.

We pledge to publicize the struggle of SNUH workers within our union membership and among the groups in the Philippines and abroad that have been part of the PALEA solidarity movement.

November 2, 2013

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