Home » Aviation » Strike at PAL more likely

A strike by flight attendants and stewards of Philippine Airlines (PAL) loomed large after talks with management bogged down last Monday.

PAL insists that the issue of the mandatory retirement age for flight attendants be negotiated only in the next collective bargaining agreement (CBA), something which the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) wants settled right away.

FASAP is against PAL’s implemen-tation of a mandatory retirement age of 40 for both male and female flight attendants, claiming it to be “discriminatory.”

FASAP president Bob Anduiza said association members cannot wait another five years to settle issues they raised in the 2005-2010 CBA proposals such as salary increases, security of tenure and benefits.

But PAL president Jaime Bautista said there was “more than enough time” to discuss the retirement age provisions and issues in the next CBA negotiations in 2015.

He said a 22-year-old flight attendant, who was hired by PAL in the year 2000, would turn 40 in 2018, while those who were 22 when hired in 1996, would turn 45 in 2019.

Under the existing CBA, male and female flight attendants hired before November 1996 will be retired once they reach 60 and 55, respectively, and those hired starting 1996 will be retired at age 45. Those hired after November 2000 will be retired at the age of 40.

At the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) hearing last Monday, FASAP also rejected the one-time P80-million financial package offered by PAL, finding the amount insufficient for the group’s 1,600 members.

The airline said the package was all it could afford given its dire financial condition.

In addition to FASAP, the PAL Employees Association also threatened to go on strike to protest outsourcing in three PAL divisions. This policy, they said, would mean the termination of regular employees for rehiring as contractuals.

Another meeting at NCMB has been set for August 17. Talks between PAL management and PALEA are scheduled for today.

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