Home » Aviation » It’s still a stalemate at PAL

PHILIPPINE Airlines and its flight attendants and stewards once again failed to reach a labor agreement for the second time in less than two weeks.

At the National Conciliation and Mediation Board hearing yesterday, PAL and the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) both stood firm on such issues as the financial package and the retirement age.

“There were no significant breakthroughs between the management of Philippine Airlines and the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association,” PAL said in a statement.

In the hearing, PAL maintained its P80-million offer to the cabin crew union, saying the company cannot give more due to financial difficulties.

Management also pushed for limiting talks to the economic aspect of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

In addition, it insisted that the early retirement issue be discussed during the next CBA covering the years 2010 to 2015, saying it is not until 2018, or eight years from now, when the early retirement provision will affect any cabin crew.

FASAP reiterated its claim that the 40-year-old mandatory retirement age should be scrapped and that the association will only accept the financial package offered by PAL if it is not lower than P160 million.

Despite the stalemate, PAL is optimistic it could settle the labor row by September.

Earlier, PAL assured the riding public there will be no immediate strike from its ground and cabin crew unions, saying they can still find an amicable solution to the labor problems.

Just the same, PAL has lined up measures like deployment of administrative staff and other personnel to help in case of emergency.

“As part of our conditions of carriage, we commit to our passengers that we will bring them to their destination whether through extra flights or through PAL’s domestic and international interline partners,” PAL chief operating officer Jaime Bautista earlier said.

PAL also urged the labor department to resolve the pending motions for reconsideration filed by both PAL management and the PAL Employees Association regarding the airline’s planned spin-off of three non-core units – catering, ground handling and call center.

The spin-off will affect 2,600 PAL employees.

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