Home » Aviation » Congressional probe on PAL labor woes set

A Congressional inquiry on the labor row between the management of Philippine Airlines (PAL) and the PAL Employees Association (PALEA) has been scheduled for Thursday.

Party-list representative Rafael Mariano said the P2.5-billion compensation package earlier offered by PAL pales in comparison with the more than P3 billion in savings the airline will realize if it spins off its three non-core units — in-flight catering, airport services and call center reservations.

The Anak Pawis congressman also scored Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz for upholding an earlier resolution allowing PAL to push through with its restructuring plan that will mean the layoff of some 2,600 employees, noting other companies could follow suit resulting in massive layoffs and an increase in employment contractualization.

PAL said the planned spin-off will cost P400 million more than the original estimate of P2 billion after Baldoz asked PAL management to increase the compensation offered to affected employees.

PALEA members to be affected by the ruling may get an average of P1 million as part of their severance package.

"Given its recent losses and current financial position, PAL would be hard put to raise P2.5 billion but this is a bitter pill we have to swallow. PAL believes DOLE's decision is 'just, reasonable and humane'. Since it has the force and effect of a law, we must respect the ruling," PAL president Jaime Bautista said last week.

Bautista said the flag carrier plans to finance the severance package by securing loans from government financial institutions such as the Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank of the Philippines or other creditors.

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