Plight of Clark airport employees dims ahead of privatization | Inquirer News

Plight of Clark airport employees dims ahead of privatization

/ 05:04 AM June 07, 2019

ALTERNATE AIRPORT Clark International Airport (CRK) in Clark Freeport, Pampanga province, has become an alternate airport to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country’s main gateway located in Metro Manila. CRK serves 246 international and 480 domestic flights weekly. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

CLARK FREEPORT — With more than a month until a consortium takes over the state-owned gateway here, the employment status of 164 workers of Clark International Airport Corp. (Ciac) remains uncertain.

The Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corp. (Lipad) will operate and maintain Clark Internal Airport starting July 21, completing a six-month preparation after signing the deal. The consortium consists of Changi Airports Philippines Pte. Ltd., Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc. and Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc.


Ciac will also hand over to Lipad the assets covered by the operation and maintenance concession agreement.


The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has yet to act on the complaint of the Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (SMD) against Ciac and the consortium for alleged unfair labor practice in the privatization of the airport.

Status quo

Edgar Aquino, director of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board in Central Luzon, declined to comment if a contract for privatization of the airport’s operation and maintenance could proceed to absorb workers while the labor issues remained unresolved.

“There has been no offer to employees to transfer to Lipad,” Dennis Lumanlan, SMD president, told the Inquirer by telephone on Wednesday.

He said the union would wait for the decision of the Dole. “Everything is on a status quo,” Lumanlan said, referring to their salaries and benefits from Ciac.

Jaime Alberto Melo, Ciac president, on Wednesday said the privatization of airport operation and maintenance would push through as scheduled.


Strike vote

Melo said Lipad would absorb 215 workers who stood to get the “same remuneration” that they were receiving from Ciac.

He said Ciac’s request for “separation incentive package is about to be approved by President Duterte.”

Melo said the firm sought the President’s approval because the rates were “higher than normal.” He did not give details.

In January, 158 workers voted to go on strike but the union did not file the referendum results, opting to continue talks.

Melo had said the privatization of airport operation and maintenance would “ensure the riding public of further improvements in the quality of customer and flights services.”

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The airport serves 246 international and 480 domestic flights every week. —TONETTE OREJAS

TAGS: CIAC, privatization

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