Palea stages strike preview
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Airlines Employees Association on Friday said it held a rally at Ninoy Aquino International Airport as a preview of the actions it would take should the national carrier’s management insist on beginning its outsourcing scheme on September 30.
Some 2,000 employees belonging to the ground crew union who continue to oppose outsourcing fear being locked out of their workplace when the PAL management begins its government-backed outsourcing scheme on September 30. Palea has filed a case before the Court of Appeals to reverse the decision.
“The mass participation by PAL employees in today’s protest is an expression of unity and defiance against the outsourcing and contractualization plan. This is a warning to PAL against enforcing a lockout of its workers after September 30,” Gerry Rivera, Palea president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa said in a statement Friday.
The protesters assembled at around 3 p.m. at the PAL Nichols Gate 2 and then marched to the Our Lady of the Airways Parish (Olap) church at the corner of MIA Road and Dr. A. Santos Avenue. At Olap, Palea members held a prayer rally and a protest program lasting until 8 p.m.
Also participating in the protest action were hundreds of members of labor and church groups that have been supporting Palea’s fight for regular jobs. Spouses and teenage children of Palea members also joined the rally, along with representatives of newly hired and then newly fired customer service agents (CSAs) of PAL.
“The fate of these CSAs is a preview of the life of workers in the service providers. Their working conditions will be at the whim of the company and they can be fired at will. They will have no voice in the workplace and no union to protect them,” Rivera said.
Leading the solidarity for Palea is the Church-Labor Conference headed by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo.
A statement by the labor groups supporting Palea declared that the decision of the Office of the President and PAL’s outsourcing plan was a “blatant attempt” to revise labor relations in the country and rollback workers rights.
“Allowing PAL to lay off some 2,600 workers despite some P5 billion in yearly income is a policy shift that says to employers: fire-all-you-can. It mimics the fire-at-will employment relations in the United States where huge profitable corporations outsource and lay off with abandon,” the groups said.
Added Renato Magtubo, chair of Partido ng Manggagawa: We say to our brothers and sisters in Palea: Your are not alone. The fight against contractualization is a struggle for the dignity and future of all workers.”
PAL has earlier served notices of separation to the affected employees. Their last day of work with PAL is on Sept. 30. Third-service providers contract by PAL were to have absorbed all affected employees who signified intention to join them by September 9.
News handpicked by our editors
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.