PHILIPPINE Airlines (PAL) jacked up by more than 30% to P105 million its offer to flight attendants to settle a weeks-long labor row.
PAL said the proposal is valid provided members of the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (FASAP) agree to other provisions of the offer.
“On top of PAL’s original P80-million offer, the flag carrier offered the union a P25-million increase in their rice allowance for the period 2007 to 2010,” PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said in a statement.
Maternity benefits were also expanded with PAL adding the number of months a female employee has gone on leave from her third month of pregnancy to her total years of service. The airline and FASAP are negotiating whether this will be applied retroactively or upon signing of the new agreement.
Under PAL’s existing policy, pregnant flight attendants are placed on prolonged leave without pay and this period is deducted from her years of service. FASAP said that even while on maternity leave, PAL deducts the 60-day maternity leave from the flight attendants’ years of service.
“The expanded benefits and allowances are part of a package. Hence, their approval hinges on the signing by PAL and FASAP of a final agreement that puts to rest all economic, gender and retirement issues under discussion,” Villaluna said.
PAL also expressed willingness to change the retirement age to 45 from 40 for both male and female crew members on condition that FASAP agrees to a mixed crew complement — a work rule arrangement allowing younger cabin crew to fly international together with more senior attendants, and vice-versa, or with the senior crew taking domestic flight assignments.
The airline argued junior cabin attendants are well-trained and capable of serving international flights but provisions in their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) prevent them from doing so.
Current work rules restricting the flight assignments of younger flight attendants were inserted in the previous CBA by FASAP itself. Because of this, only senior cabin crew enjoy higher perks and per diems when they fly international.