Migrant group urges boycott of PAL | Global News

Migrant group urges boycott of PAL

/ 06:03 PM October 01, 2011


MANILA, Philippines—An international migrants’ rights group urged overseas Filipino workers on Saturday to boycott Philippine Airlines and support its ground crew union in its ongoing  dispute with the airline’s management.

Migrante International called on all its member organizations, chapters and networks abroad to boycott PAL and support the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) in its fight against “massive retrenchment, union-busting and contractualization.”


“We fully support the fight of PAL workers. This is a clear example of how capitalist interests trample upon labor rights. We salute them for their resolve and commitment to fight for what is just despite suppression and under-handed tactics by the PAL management,” said Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson.


Martinez also criticized President Benigno Aquino for “ignoring the demands of the workers and instead taking the cudgels” for PAL owner and business mogul Lucio Tan.

“It is clear in Aquino’s position that he is no different from others before him. He is in connivance with other capitalists and big compradors in protecting their class interests. Walang wang-wang pero okay lang ang Tan-Tan?” Martinez said.

“We call on all OFWs to boycott PAL and take other airlines instead. Let us show our support for the PAL workers and protest against contractualization and union-busting by Lucio Tan. Let this action also show our condemnation of President Aquino’s disregard of workers’ rights and blatant tolerance of Tan’s anti-worker schemes and policies,” Martinez said.

Migrante International said it had more than 200 member-organizations in 23 countries.

Meanwhile, PALEA dismissed as a “modern-day fairy tale” claims that Philippine Airlines  had to dismiss 2,600 workers because it was losing money.

“PAL does not have to choose between saving the jobs of 2,600 PALEA members and the remaining 5,000 employees since it is not in danger of bankruptcy,” said Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.


“PAL has not been able to start the outsourcing plan for the past two years because of PALEA’s defiance and yet it earned a net income of $72.5 million or more than P3 billion in its last fiscal year and is already projecting a modest profit for the present year,” he said.

“The threat of ruin if outsourcing is not implemented is plain and simple black propaganda and blackmail by PAL. The reason the dispute has dragged on for the last two years and the present standoff exists is because of PAL’s intransigence,” he added.

Rivera lambasted PAL’s refusal to open talks to resolve the labor dispute.

“It has become clear since the forcible eviction of protesting PALEA members that the replacement workers and scabs cannot normalize operations and make PAL fly. The failure of the outsourcing plan is the cause of the continuing flight cancellations and delays,” Rivera said.

He said PALEA was calling on PAL to end the labor dispute by halting the outsourcing plan pending the final decision of the courts.

Rivera said protests continued to spread to PAL’s outlying stations as locked-out and laid-off PALEA members in Cebu set up their own campout at the Mactan International Airport.

Around 500 workers were scheduled to march Saturday afternoon from Mandaue City to the protest camp at the airport. PALEA and labor groups were also scheduled to hold rallies in Bacolod and Davao against the contractualization plan.

“PAL is guilty of a double standard. When it is losing a case such as the illegal dismissal of 1,400 flight attendants, it insists on exhausting the judicial process. It fought the case up to the Supreme Court and even delayed the final resolution by filing two motions for reconsideration,” Rivera said.

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Artists from the Dakila Collective for Modern Heroism were  expected to perform at a solidarity concert dubbed “Pamorningan sa PALEA” Saturday  night at the protest camp at the PAL In-flight Center in Manila. Dakila is led by artists Lourd de Veyra and Noel Cabangon.

TAGS: Business Process Outsourcing, Civil Aviation, Labor, Overseas Filipino workers, Tourism

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