Home » Aviation » PAL flight attendants keep demands down to 3 issues

THE flight attendants of Philippine Airlines (PAL) appear to have had a change of heart and cut their demands on airline management.

In a statement, the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines said their concerns are now down to three – the mandatory retirement age should be bumped to 60 years old instead of the current 40; maternity and pregnancy leaves should be included when counting years of service; and a minimum wage policy should be implemented.

FASAP said they narrowed their demands to meet PAL halfway but the flag carrier still seemed unwilling to compromise based on initial reaction from management.

PAL said it remained hopeful a strike — threatened by FASAP if their demands are not met — will be averted.

FASAP’s three pending issues were the subject of discussions between PAL management and FASAP in the second conciliation conference. Another meeting is scheduled today (September 22).

”After the meeting, it was agreed that assistance of the Bureau of Working Conditions under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will be sought,” said PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna.

It maybe recalled that FASAP formally filed a notice of strike before DOLE to oppose what the group claimed as PAL’s unfair labor practices.

Meanwhile, PAL said it was performing above par despite current setbacks such as the labor row and the August 23 botched hostage-rescue operations at the Quirino Grandstand that killed eight hostages, mostly Hong Kong nationals. The latter set off a travel advisory on the Philippines and caused the cancellation of hundreds of trips to the Philippines.

In another development, PAL said it has already sued 16 of its 26 resigned pilots for breach of contract.

The company also expects to file charges against the remaining pilots upon completion of pertinent documents. The pilots who left the airline for better-paying jobs overseas did not give the usual notice.

By end of the month, PAL said it will have employed four new Airbus 320 pilots and another four captains by next month.

“The effect of the hostage drama will be temporary,” PAL president Jaime Bautista said. “Despite the twin incidents (labor issue and hostage drama), the company is confident of a recovery. Our international flights are good. In terms of load, revenues in international routes, we are better.”

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