PAL union threatens strike over hiring of contractual workers | Inquirer News
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PAL union threatens strike over hiring of contractual workers

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 06:18 AM June 13, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—The ground crew union of the Philippine Air Lines (PAL) threatened, on Sunday, to go on strike if the national flag carrier tried to hire contractual workers to fill up several positions vacated by resignations.

The PAL Employees Association (Palea) said management has been planning to employ on June 16 contractual workers from another firm, MacroAsia, to fill up the positions of several resigned customer agents.

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However, Palea president Gerry Rivera said PAL should hire only regular workers to replace the resigned customer agents because the union’s case opposing management plan to outsource more than 2,000 jobs in the carrier remained pending before the Department of Labor and Employment.

“PALEA considers the temporary outsourcing of regular jobs to MacroAsia as a backdoor implementation of the controversial contractualization plan and a violation of the April 1 order of the Labor Secretary enjoining management and the union from engaging in any act that will exacerbate the labor dispute at PAL. If PAL pushes through with the plan on June 16, we will act accordingly to defend our jobs and the union,” Rivera said in a statement.

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On Monday, Palea members are holding a motorcade around the Ninoy Aquino International Airport complex and hold a rally at the company’s in-flight center near Terminal 2 and other offices near Terminal 3.

“Tomorrow’s motorcade is just a preview of protests that will culminate on Thursday should PAL carry on with its de facto outsourcing plan despite our opposition and the Labor Secretary’s order,” Rivera said.

On May 30, according to Rivera, PAL informed Palea of an acute manpower shortage for passenger handling due to the exodus of customer service agents who have sought greener pastures abroad.

The management asked for the union’s cooperation in allowing MacroAsia to work the departure gates for a period of six months.

Palea rejected outright the proposal and suggested instead that the vacant positions be filled up by direct hiring instead of outsourcing to a service provider. The union even offered to help in rehiring former PAL employees and recalling trainees who were not hired due to a freeze hiring program.

Discussions between PAL and Palea on the stop gap measures proceeded and on June 9, the union submitted a partial list of people interested in the position of customer service agents. The company, however, has to reply on the union’s proposals.

“Palea has extended the hand of assistance in solving the company’s manpower shortage. We expect that PAL will shake our hands in return instead of stabbing us in the back by outsourcing regular positions to contractual workers,” said.

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TAGS: Employment, Jobs, Labor, labor code, Labor issues, Laws, Macro Asia, Philippine Airlines, strikes, unions
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