Home » Aviation » PAL faces more labor troubles this week

PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) faces a full week as it grapples with two — possibly three — pending labor disputes.

Officials of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP), composed of 1,600 PAL employees, are meeting today (August 9) with PAL executives at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board to discuss their collective bargaining agreement which expired three years ago.

Flight attendants have threatened work stoppages in protest of no salary increases over the last three years and PAL’s policy of forcing cabin crew to retire at the age of 40, when all other PAL workers are allowed to work until the age of 60.

On Thursday (August 12), the PAL Employees Association (Palea) will face PAL executives over a Department of Labor and Employment June 15 decision that approved PAL management’s outsourcing of nearly 3,000 jobs in the airlines’ in-flight catering, airport services and call-center reservation operations. The union called the scheme a “massive contractualization of regular employees.”

Another labor dispute with 25 pilots who resigned to work for better-paying foreign airlines, has yet to be fully resolved.

Last Wednesday Malacañang, which is mediating the dispute between PAL and its resigned pilots, said the deadlock may not be resolved this week.

The flag carrier last week has already promised to adopt a three-pronged strategy to stop the pilot exodus.

PAL said it will now stop the transfer of PAL pilots to sister firm low-cost carrier AirPhil Express. The flag carrier also committed to the publication of new daily flight schedules to ensure its passengers are well informed of any flight changes and continuous dialogues with its pilots, who, unlike other PAL employees, are not represented by a union.

In February, PAL transferred pilots to AirPhil to beef up operations at the budget carrier. The move was generally interpreted by pilots as a cost-saving device at their expense since it also meant lower salaries.

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