PAL urged to rethink layoff plan
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Thursday dispelled fears of renewed massive displacement of workers over the plan of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) to terminate more than 2,000 of its employees due to losses brought about by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bello expressed optimism that the flag carrier would reconsider its plan as he noted the improving prospects for the airline industry.
In an online forum, the labor chief said the airline business may start to turn around with the Department of Labor and Employment allowing more workers to return to their jobs abroad where health and safety conditions have improved. “PAL may no longer pursue its plan to retrench workers if it sees signs of recovery at the horizon. The government is confident the airline industry can get back to its feet anytime now because we are already allowing more trips in and out of the country, especially the travels of our countrymen seeking employment overseas,” he said.
“It is the prospect of better mobility and travel conditions that can make PAL change its mind about the fate of its workers. The good news is that things are improving in the country including the way we move from one place to another,” he added.
PAL earlier said it would reduce its workforce by up to 35 percent as part of a recovery plan to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and the slow recovery of the airline industry. The flag carrier said the layoff combines voluntary and involuntary measures to be implemented in the fourth quarter of 2020.
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