Take action now
Trade unions and church groups in the Philippines have joined together in calling a boycott of Philippine Airlines and Air Philippines in solidarity with the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA).
I’m writing to ask you to make your voice heard in support of this boycott. Let Lucio Tan, owner of both airlines, know that you won’t fly PAL or AirPhil until locked-out workers have been reinstated to their regular jobs.
Philippine Airlines is putting into place a plan to outsource its ground crew, which would result in deep pay cuts and job insecurity with the downgrading of employees from regular to contractual hires. On September 27, the PALEA union launched a protest at Manila airport that paralyzed the operations of Philippine Airlines. In response, Philippine Airlines and the government forcibly evicted the protesting workers. Since then, Philippine Airlines locked-out 2,600 airport services, catering and call center workers, and terminated them from their jobs on October 1. The workers have set up protest camps and are running continuous picket lines. They are calling for our solidarity.
It’s time to up the pressure. The company’s line, as quoted in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, is: “No amount of rallies, protest actions or letters of support/complaints from sympathetic groups both within and outside the country could change the fact that PAL has already spun off and outsourced its non-core businesses.” But we know that the airlines cannot withstand a boycott. PAL and AirPhil rely on end-of-year holidays travel for their profit line. If a large enough group of us join the boycott publicly, we will have an impact.
Take a moment to click here to send a letter to Philippine Airlines and the Philippine government.
The PALEA union likens its struggle to that of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) union in 1981. Those familiar with U.S. labor history will recall: when 13,000 air traffic controllers went on strike, Ronald Reagan fired the union supporters and broke the union. As a result, the bargaining power of American workers and labor unions was severely undermined. Let’s act together for a better future for airline workers who are facing job loss and state-sponsored repression today. Now is the time to join with PALEA in their call for justice.
Director, Policy and Legal Programs
International Labor Rights Forum