MANILA, Philippines – Philippine Airlines (PAL) said on Monday that it would start hiring workers for ground duty to augment its current workforce, and replace those who resigned over the past few weeks.
In a statement, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the flag carrier intends to directly hire 60 Customer Service Agents (CSAs) to man check in counters and other ground duty posts. These new personnel will replace CSAs who either resigned, or were pirated by other airlines abroad.
“To avoid inconvenience to our passengers in terms of longer queues and waiting times, PAL management started processing applications for Customer Service Agents,” she explained.
Contrary to claims by the PAL Employees Association (PALEA), Villaluna said PAL management would not hire people from MacroAsia Corporation. “In fact, the decision to hire directly instead of getting a service provider was even proposed by PALEA officers during a management-union dialogue last week,” she said.
Villaluna explained that the original management proposal was to temporarily engage the services of MacroAsia for six months just to fill the gap. But since the union opposed this, management decided that it would just hire employees directly to end the debate, she said.
Villaluna said the exodus of PAL workers began several weeks ago as a result of the protracted resolution of the outsourcing issue. The Department of Labor and Employment has twice upheld the legality of outsourcing of PAL’s non-core units “as a valid exercise of management prerogative.”
On appeal, Malacanang upheld the labor department’s ruling but the issue remains pending when PALEA filed a motion for reconsideration.
“PAL management is hoping for a speedy resolution of the outsourcing issue. The longer it drags, the more our workers are disenchanted and forced to seek ‘greener pastures.’ Thus, for the sake of our workers who want to peacefully move on, and for the convenience of thousands of passengers, we hope Malacanang would decide ‘with finality’ on the outsourcing issue,” she said. Joel D. Lacsamana