MANILA, Philippines—A coalition of labor groups against contractual employment on Thursday vowed to intensify protest actions against the management of Philippine Airlines and until President Benigno Aquino reverses his decision upholding the outsourcing of PAL workers.
“Protest has become the only available recourse for the workers who have to constantly resist the threat to jobs security and most especially their inherent human right to unionize and engage in Collective Bargaining Agreement to improve their plight,” said Josua Mata, co-convenor of Koalisyon Kontra sa Kontraktwalisasyon (Kontra) and Secretary General of Alliance of Progressive Labor.
Also on Thursday, members of the PAL employees association marked their 30th day of protest by holding a motorcade around the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and PAL offices.
The motorcade started at 10 a.m. at the Palea’s protest camp outside the In-Flight Center along Mia Road and then passed by PAL’s Nichols Gate 1 and 2, Terminal 3, Terminal 2, Terminal 1 and then ended at the PNB Building at Macapagal Avenue. A program was held at the PNB Building until 12 noon for a lunch break protest with employees there.
“On the 30th day of the forcible eviction of protesting Palea members from the airport and other offices, we remain strong in our resistance to the contractualization plan of PAL. PAL’s outsourcing scheme is a failure as shown by the continuing flight cancellations and delays,” said Gerry Rivera, Palea president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.
Palea also welcomed the support of the Migrant Forum in Asia which reportedly called for overseas Filipino workers to boycott PAL until it has heeded the demand of its workers to be accepted back to their regular jobs.
MFA is an Asia-wide network of migrant organizations, trade unions and advocates.
“We respect the boycott campaign of migrants and thank them for their support. Hopefully PAL will listen to the voice of its passengers,” Rivera said as he urged Aquino to stop using the OFWs as an alibi for his inaction on the labor dispute.