Philippine Airlines unfazed by union protest
Philippine Airlines on Saturday said it was unaffected by the protest action staged by some members of its ground union on Friday, saying the national flag carrier registered a relatively high on-time performance of 85 percent with all published flights operated for a 100 percent reliability rating.
However, the airline said, the protest action of the PAL Employees Association (Palea) caused a massive traffic jam around the airport. Palea is opposing the airline’s scheduled spin off/outsourcing of three noncore departments.
Palea said some 2,000 union members participated on Friday in what it described as a preview of the strike it was going hold if the airline proceeds with the spinoff scheme.
PAL said it deployed hundreds of volunteers—consisting of administrative staff and on-duty Palea members who did not join the union protest. They picked up stranded passengers and brought them to PAL’s hub at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 using five chartered airconditioned buses that were allowed by airport authorities to take the service roads inside the airport complex.
“We apologize to our passengers and the general public who were gravely inconvenienced by yesterday’s protest action,” said PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna. “Fortunately, the contingency measures that PAL put in place enabled all our passengers to catch their flights.”
Meanwhile, Villaluna said the service providers tapped to take over the catering and ground-handling units of PAL have secured the necessary accreditation from the Department of Labor.
She said that for several weeks now, PAL had been meeting regularly with officials of SkyLogistics Philippines, SkyKitchen Philippines and SPi Global to iron out details for the smooth transition of operations of the Airport Services, Catering Services and Reservations/call center on October 1.
“As we prepare for a seamless transition to the service providers, the goal is to have the least disruption to our operations,” said Villaluna. “We try not to let union actions distract us from that focus.”
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.