Exasperated, Philippine Airlines fights back
Reeling from its dispute with former employees and their supporters, flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Tuesday appealed to the country’s business organizations for help in pressing the government to come up with a quicker and more decisive response to the harassment of private enterprises.
In a statement, PAL called on groups such as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., Management Association of the Philippines, Federation of Philippine Industries, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, and Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc., among others, “to collectively appeal for better protection of businesses which are prevented from freely pursuing their trade.”
PAL pointed out that it was in the best interest of private firms to protect themselves from “harassment,” particularly by former workers who put up blockades and otherwise disrupt operations.
“The recent incident where a PAL catering truck was blocked by protesting former workers armed with truncheons and planks with nails is one clear example of this kind of harassment seemingly tolerated by police authorities,” the airline’s management said.
The airline expressed frustration its complaints and appeals for help from government agencies were “to no avail.”
It said its cabin crews and service providers were unable to use the PAL facility on MIA Road in Pasay City in front of which the former workers had set up a protest camp.
“Continuing police inaction against all forms of harassment perpetrated by dismissed workers only serves to embolden these illegal occupants of PAL’s property,” the airline said.
Aggravating the issue, said PAL, was that it was now on the receiving end of “baseless and malicious accusations” by the former employees that it had hired goons to disperse their camp.
One bystander died of a heart attack and eight ex-workers were injured during the melee that ensued when about 50 men overran the camp.