Friday, January 23, 2015

Beyond in-flight exchanges and selfies with Pope, labor party reminds PAL of its Christian commitments on the ground

Press Release
January 23, 2014

There is no doubt the Philippine Airlines is reaping the benefits of a good press from the successful visit of Pope Francis to the country.  

But the labor party, Partido Manggagawa (PM), reminded the flag carrier that in order to sustain its “blessed” flights, it has a Christian commitment to fulfill to which the Pope is also committed  – the reinstatement of its outsourced ground workers and the negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement that has been stalled for 15 years.

PAL blew its own trumpet during a press briefing the other day by taking pride of its role to the safe and comfortable airlift of Pope Francis in and out of Tacloban and to his journey back to Vatican.

“It was indeed a rare and fateful journey between the Pope and PAL.  We really hope, however, that beyond those in-flight exchanges of gifts and selfies, we both go back to the reality as the Pope had suggested.  Here on the ground oppressed workers are waiting not just for compassion but for concrete and immediate action,” said PM chair Renato Magtubo.

PAL has yet to finally comply with the last but most important item in the PAL-PALEA Settlement Agreement signed in November 2013 which ended the protracted labor dispute in the flag carrier. It also has to sit down with PALEA for the continuation of CBA negotiation, the last being in 1998.

An intense battle for management control between the Lucio Tan group and San Miguel, which ended with the former’s buyback of PAL, delayed the final implementation of the settlement agreement.

During the height of the outsourcing dispute in PAL, PALEA sought the help of Pope Francis through the Church Labor Conference and the social arm of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. A letter was sent personally to the Pope through Fr. Edu Gariguez of NASSA-CBCP. 

Pope Francis is a strong advocate of labor dignity.  To him, there is no dignity without decent work and that human dignity comes from work and not from power and money.

No comments: