Home » Aviation » PAL union insists on Palace intervention in labor case

THE Philippine Airlines Employees' Association (PALEA) harped on two things at a meeting in Malacañang on Monday: That President Benigno Aquino III can and should intervene to stop the planned restructuring at PAL, and that the restructuring plan will not solve the airline’s financial problems.

"We reiterated our call, as stated in our formal appeal to President Benigno Aquino last Friday, for him to suspend the implementation of the decision by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz," PALEA president Gerry Rivera said in a statement after the meeting at the Office of the Executive Secretary.

Baldoz earlier recognized the flag carrier’s prerogative to spin off its in-flight catering, airport services and call center units. The move will mean the termination of 2,600 employees.

"(The President) can use the powers vested in Article 263 (g) of the Labor Code which states that the President can intervene at any time and assume jurisdiction over any labor dispute in order to settle it," Rivera explained. "That power has usually been used to stop workers from holding a strike. We are challenging P-Noy to employ it to stop management’s planned mass layoff."

The union reiterated employees should not be a casualty in the airline's financial troubles since they did not cause it. They said the retrenchment will reduce PAL's losses by only 7%, and that the real reason for the layoff is to replace regular workers with contractuals.

PALEA urged Malacañang to initiate efforts toward regulating the practice of contractualization through both executive action and legislative measures.

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