Tag Archives: Employment

[Press Release] Jobs fairs are a job farce, say labor group -PM

Jobs fairs are a job farce, say labor group

pmLogo1The militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) blasted the Labor Day job fairs announced by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz as a “job farce.” “These job fairs are a gimmick to cover up the truth that government is not doing anything significant to solve mass unemployment,” asserted Renato Magtubo, PM national chair.

He explained that job fairs are simply job facilitation instead of job generation. “The government is propagating the myth that the problem is job mismatch and thus the solution is job matching and facilitation. Yet the figures do not lie—the unemployment rate remains at 7%, meaning some three million Filipinos are jobless. Millions more are not officially counted as unemployed because they not anymore looking for work after months and years of desperately looking for non-existent jobs,” Magtubo lamented.

He added that “Even a college diploma does not help since 17% of the unemployed are tertiary graduates. The 400,000 jobs allegedly being offered at the May 1 job fairs will not even suffice to provide employment for the 530,000 college graduates who entered the labor force this April.”

“Despite the much-vaunted 6.6% increase in gross domestic product last year and the 5% average rate even before, the unemployment rate and poverty incidence has remained high. Jobless GNP growth means Gutom Na Pilipino for the masses,” Magtubo avowed.

He insisted that “In fact job fairs are even contributing to joblessness since human resources personnel of private companies are being retrenched because their work has been outsourced to the Labor Department and public employment service offices of local governments.”

“Stop the Labor Day job fairs gimmick. This publicity stunt was invented during the illegitimate reign of Gloria Arroyo and has been continued by the administration of Noynoy Aquino albeit his anti-GMA stance. Gloria the economics teacher and PNoy the diligent student do not differ in their blind belief in the neoliberal dogma of the free market. Yet the private sector has historically failed in providing full employment,” Magtubo argued.

PM is advocating a paradigm shift in the economic policy of the government as a step towards resolving the jobs crisis. “In the short-term, the government will have to embark on a public employment program to provide gainful work to the millions of unemployed and underemployed. In the long-term, the country needs an economic policy and plan that will result in the development of domestic labor-intensive agriculture and industry,” Magtubo elaborated.

Press Release
April 24, 2013
Partido ng Manggagawa
Contact Renato Magtubo @ 09178532905

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[Press Release] Call center workers demand reforms in BPO industry -PM

Call center workers demand reforms in BPO industry

pmLogo1On the occasion of the anniversary of the February 1986 EDSA uprising, a newly formed association of call center workers today demanded reforms in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry to protect labor rights. In a press conference in Cebu City, the Inter-Call Center Association of Workers (ICCAW) declared that “We are for a stable BPO industry so that we can have regular jobs that provide decent salaries and benefits but this cannot happen if the requirements and criteria for opening a call center company are so relaxed.”

The first public activity of ICCAW was occasioned by its open support for employees of Cordia Philippines, a call center based in Cebu City’s Asiatown I.T. Park. Some 76 Cordia workers have already filed cases against their former employer at the National Labor Relations Commission for illegal closure, non-payment of salaries and non-remittance of their mandated benefits.

Many of ICCAW’s pioneers were workers of Direct Access, another call center which closed down and left its employees with unpaid wages and benefits. But after months of protests, lobbying and the support of the militant Partido ng Manggagawa, the Direct Access workers were able to secure their monetary claims.

Ruben Josol, ICCAW spokesperson, averred “ICCAW is coming out in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Cordia. We are enraged that a call center company closes down, runs away from its obligations but then easily opens up a new company of the same nature and with its former clients. Some employers have been held accountable but majority are running scot-free and with impunity. We attribute this problem due to lack of strong state regulation in BPO industry.”

“We want a BPO company to be a better place to work with but if the occupational health of employees are compromised this industry will instead be a time bomb just waiting to explode. We are also asking candidates running in the elections to make workers demands part of their platform. If our so-called democracy is not just all form but has some substance, then the demands of the majority of the people must be met by those seeking the mandate of the voters,” Josol added.

A priority agenda of ICCAW is stricter government regulation of the BPO industry. It is proposing guidelines on requirements to set up call centers must be put in place and strictly implemented. This will reduce fly by night centers that are not financially equipped to run the business and does not respect labor rights, according to the group.

“We aim to be a voice and advocate for call center and BPO workers so that the 600,000 employees in the industry who are entirely unorganized can enjoy protection,” Josol insisted.

ICCAW is also calling for industry-wide standards for wages, benefits and entitlements that must be well above the minimum mandated by law and commensurate to the profitable dollar-earning nature of the call center industry.

Press Release
Partido ng Manggagawa
February 25, 2013
Contact Ruben Josol @ 09327518353

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[Press Release] Teachers ask DEPED to expedite the release of bonus -TDC

Teachers ask DEPED to expedite the release of bonus

TDCThe Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) calls on the Department of Education (DepEd) to release a department guidelines to implement the Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) for its more than 500, 000 employees this year. Last week the group staged a protest at the gates of the Budget Department to denounce the deliberate cutting down of their traditional P10, 000.00 productivity enhancement incentive (PEI) by half. The symbolic caroling was followed by a dialoigue with some DBM officials.

“The traditional year-end incentive amounting to P10, 000.00 which we also call P-Noy should be enhanced especially this year that the government employees face many challenges.” Said Caloocan teacher Benjo Basas who also the the group’s national chairperson.

Basas continued, “Until now, the DepEd has no clear guidelines to implement the order of the president contained in his EO No. 80 last July. Thus, the amount which we expect before Christmas may be delayed.”

The group is worried that the teachers and DepEd employees would not receive the PBB or even the PEI before Christmas due to time limitation.

For this year, teachers and government employees would be entitled to a PEI in the amount of P5, 000.00 and a performance-based bonus (PBB) that varies depending on the performance of the agency and the individual employee. Thus the PBB would range from P5, 000.00 for the good performing individuals in a good performing agency up to P35, 000.00 for the best performing individuals in the best performing agencies. Best performing agencies are those in the top 10% while the better performing are those in the next 25% and the good performing or actually the least performing agencies are those in the bottom 65 per cent.

The group however dismisses the PBB scheme for being unfair, divisive and deceptive and instead calls for an across the board incentive that according to them “will benefit all the government employees and public school teachers and could reach the supposed recipients on time.”

Previously, PEI is released to government employees before Christmas break. “But for this year, the guidelines to determine the performance of agencies was only released by the inter-agency task force (IATF) lead by DBM last November 12, the agencies, especially the Department of Education (DepEd) would have a hard time to comply with the complicated requirements to determine the eligibility of agencies and employees to the PBB.” Basas added.

The group reiterates their call to the DBM and President Aquino to defer the implementation of the PBB this year and instead provide the P10, 000.00 across-the-board PEI to all government employees.

“For this year, the PBB would not be practical. The president may opt to give us the 10, 000.00 PEI or even greater amount. He should play a Santa for his employees.” Basas ended.

For details: Benjo Basas, 0920-5740241/3853437

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[Press Release] Labor group urges government to amend laws on OHS, contractualization -CTUHR

Labor group urges government to amend laws on OHS, contractualization

Following the death of four septic tank workers in Ali Mall Quezon City last Thursday, August 30, the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) urged the government to amend laws concerning occupational health and safety (OHS) standards and labor contractualization.

Daisy Arago, executive director of CTUHR said, “Apart from a thorough investigation of the case, this incident calls for a review and amendment of our laws concerning OHS standards and labor contractualization.”

According to Arago, although Rule 11-20 of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) OHS Standards stipulates the employers should provide PPE’s or personal protective equipment to workers in hazardous workplaces, the law is mum on the employers’ accountability to the law and the victims when accidents occur.

“Rule 11-20 only identifies what are considered hazardous workplaces and states that employers should provide PPEs to their workers involved in these areas…but what must be done to those employers that are found guilty of not complying with the OHS standards?” Arago stressed.

“Especially in cases where work-related accidents lead to death, it is not enough that employers are only made to burden funeral expenses or give the families of victims some thousands of pesos as consolation for their loved ones’ death. Ultimately, employers must face administrative, civil and even criminal liability to bring full justice to the victims,” Arago said.

Arago further explained that clear sanctions will give teeth to the law and could somehow deter future accidents due to negligence and non-compliance to OHS standards by companies.

On August 30, around 3:30 am, Marvin Aleman and Romy, Rodel, and Romel Suarez drowned while they were finishing their work in a septic tank in Ali Mall. Investigation of the local government of Quezon City points to RCBC plumbing services, the job contractor, as solely responsible for the death of the workers.

Meanwhile, CTUHR also showed concern why it is only the contractor, RCBC plumbing, which was found responsible for the accident. “It shouldn’t only be the contractor; the principal, Alimall, should also be made to answer [to the victims]. Why did they sign a contract with RCBC plumbing services when it does not comply with OHS standards?” Arago asked.

Arago also criticized contractualization, as a way of capitalists to evade responsibility to workers in cases of accidents and called for the repeal of the law on contractualization, “This case is just among the many reasons why the law on labor contractualization must be repealed. The changes made by DOLE Department Order 18-A are not enough to protect the workers’ welfare. The fact the labor contracting is still allowed, principals can always get away from liability in cases like these by pointing fingers at their contractors. In the end it is the workers who suffer the most.”

03 September 2012
For Reference: Daisy Arago, CTUHR Executie Director, (+632) 411.0256

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[In the news] Wage increase for private workers, employees in Cordillera approved | Sun.Star

Wage increase for private workers, employees in Cordillera approved | Sun.Star.

By JM Agreda
May 22, 2012

THE Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) approved last May 18 a new wage order that provides an P8 increase to basic salaries of private sector employees in the Cordillera, a Labor official said.

The RTWPB’s Wage Order 15, Department of Labor and Employment Regional Director Henry John Jalbuena said, particularly provides the additional P8 to all private workers and employees receiving the minimum wage in the region, regardless of their position, designation, or status and irrespective of the method their wages are paid.

He said the order will take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation after being forwarded by the board to the National Wages and Productivity Commission, which will arrange for the wage order’s publication.

Jalbuena said the order restores the purchasing power of workers.

He also stressed that the order maintains the Cost of Living Allowance ranging from P22 to P37 granted under Wage Order 14.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

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[In the news] Abuse, discrimination still stalk ‘Bagong Bayani’ -InterAksyon.com

Abuse, discrimination still stalk ‘Bagong Bayani’
by Jefry M. Tupas, InterAksyon.com
March 1, 2012

HONG KONG — Whenever her Chinese employer is displeased with her work, a Filipina working in one of the high-rise apartments here is ordered to sit in a corner all day long, her back pressed hard against the cold steel frame of the dining table.

Then comes the battery of verbal assault from the employer and her children.

But there are times, too, when her employer spares her the verbal attack. This is when all members of the family literally spit at her.

In another part of this former British colony, another Filipina is locked out of the house unless she covers her feet with plastic shopping bags.

She is not allowed to touch anything inside the house unless she wears gloves. Inside her small room, her bed is covered with layers and layers of plastic and spread out newspapers.

Her boss thinks she is dirty.

Read full article @ www.interaksyon.com

[In the news] Gaisano Capital South to let go of 800 workers – cebudailynews.wordpress.com

Gaisano Capital South to let go of 800 workers.

  Some 800 employees of the burned Gaisano Capital South Mall will begin the year without a job.

Eric Labrada, liason officer of the Gaisano Capital Group, said that they will let go of the contractual employees after Dec. 30.

“Their contracts will be terminated effective Dec. 30,” Labrada told Cebu Daily News.

He said 800 employees are mostly sales assistants and promodisers assigned at the storage department who assist in pricing and repacking of products.

Their contracts were renewable every five months.

About 1,500 employees worked in the mall, w hich burned down on Dec. 23, a day before their big Christmas sale.

Labrada earlier said 800 were casual employees, 500 were agency-hired workers and the remaining 200 were regular employees who would remain with the company.

Read full article @ cebudailynews.wordpress.com

[Press Release] Union busting is the real aim of outsourcing – PALEA

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) today asserted that Philippine Airlines (PAL) President Jaime Bautista’s announcement that they no longer acknowledge Gerry Rivera and Bong Palad as union officers exposes union busting as the real aim of outsourcing. “Truly a fish is caught by its mouth. Actually PAL is not just recognizing me and Palad as union officers but 62% of PALEA’s leadership and 70% of its membership who have been illegally lockout and terminated. Outsourcing thus is tantamount to union busting,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).

Meanwhile Renato Magtubo, PM chair and co-chair of the Church-Labor Conference, an alliance of labor and church groups supporting PALEA, condemned threats from the Philippine National Police to disperse the campout at the PAL Inflight Center where thousands of employees continue their protest. “We warn government against using force to break the protest camp of PALEA. Labor and church groups will be one in strongly denouncing such a move,” he said.

The dispersal threat came as hundreds of PALEA members left the campout to attend the session of the House of Representatives this afternoon as Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello delivered a privilege speech defending the rights of PAL workers and assailing the outsourcing/contractualization scheme as a bankrupt model. What may be considered good for a corporation may be harmful not only to the workers but to the economic health of a country in general, PM said in a statement.

“Corporate downsizing, implemented through different forms including outsourcing or contractualization schemes, came from the most advanced capitalist economy of the world, the United States.  But look at the US now?  Corporate America and the US domestic market is practically dead, with temp workers receiving less wages than what workers were receiving in 1979, dominating the labor market,” said Magtubo.

In fact, Magtubo added, the main thrust of President Obama’s bailout package today to save and stimulate the US economy is to provide jobs and restore the purchasing power of the American people. The former partylist representative revealed that the main employer now in the United States is the Manpower, Inc., a service contractor employing more than 700,000 temp workers deployed to any kind of work on a daily, monthly, or semestral basis – similar to the proposed transfer of PAL workers to service providers on contractual arrangements.

The scheme, Magtubo said, is being opposed by the American people prompting the Democratic Party to adopt a platform of prohibiting offshore outsourcing, while American trade unions step up their campaign against coporate downsizing, the present expression of it is the ongoing campaign for the occupation of Wall St.

Rivera said they won’t mind if “Terminator JJB” doesn’t recognize them as a matter of personal grudge against the union, “But the law recognizes us as the sole representative of PAL workers pending the resolution of the case filed before the courts on the legality of the outsourcing scheme. We remain PALEA officers and we will officially represent our members in whatever forum, including with that of the management.”

Press Release
October 3, 2011
Contact Alnem Pretencio (PALEA VP) @ 09209543634
Bong Palad (PALEA Secretary) @ 09165740596

[Statement] PALEA Members Have Always Been the Soul of the Airline – FASAP

Today is a black day for PAL and the Filipino Workers. PAL management has terminated the employment of 2,600 regular employees only to be “re-hired” as new and contractual workers in another service provider starting October 01, 2011.

These PAL employees are the unsung heroes of the flag carrier. For many generations, these PAL workers have toiled and sacrificed to serve the riding public. They are the people who assist you, the riding public, in checking in for a flight. They are the voices your hear when you call PAL.

They are the seeming nameless and faceless workers who carry your baggage and load them in the airplane. They are the ones who make sure that the weight and balance of the airplane is computed well to ensure the correct amount of fuel for the flight.

PALEA members are the people who prepare the food for the flights and load them inside the plane.

They are the genuine smiles that greet you in the many airports in the provinces. They have direct and personal relationships with the passengers from Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, Zamboanga, Iloilo, and other provinces. They are the true, dedicated and model PAL employees who treat the airline as their home and the people as their family.

Throughout PAL’s long history, the members have always been the soul of the airline. Without the PALEA ground employees, PAL would not have made the billions of pesos in profit it made last year. Without them, PAL would have closed down permanently back in 1998.

PALEA members are not trouble makers. They are fighting for their lives and FASAP supports their fight.

PAL says it will “outsource” the services being performed by PAL employees to a third party service provider. What PAL is not saying to the public is that they expect the same PAL employee to do the same work, only this time, as a new and contractual employee.

FASAP believes that this tragic episode in PAL, which will terminate and contractualize 2,600 loyal and hardworking PAL workers, will go down in Philippine History as yet another blow to the plight of the Filipino working man. All in the name of profit.

FASAP and its 1,600 members are deeply and sincerely distressed to witness our brothers and sisters in PALEA to be treated this way. We call on the government and the riding public to hear out and take a second hard look at the situation.

We echo the call of PALEA, for PAL management to sit-down with them in honest to goodness negotiations and resolve the problem amicably for the sake of industrial peace and harmony. The riding public deserves no less.

As the country’s National Flag Carrier, PAL reflects the image of the Philippines in the eyes of the world. We hope the government will help find solutions, which are acceptable and fair to everyone concerned.

May God bless us all.

FASAP (Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines)
30 September 2011

[In the news] Philippine Airlines union members can’t return to work, says management | Sun.Star

Philippine Airlines union members can’t return to work, says management | Sun.Star.

MANILA (2nd Update, 1:46 p.m.) — The Philippine Airlines (PAL) ruled out Sunday any possibility of PAL Employees Association (Palea) members returning to work, saying they are no longer considered employed by the flag carrier as of Saturday.

PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Jaime Bautista said Palea has no right to make demands or threats against the company since they have stopped being employees of PAL when they opted not to avail of the offers of the three outsourcing firms.

“As of midnight October 1, workers in our catering, ground handling, and call center reservations units have ceased to be PAL employees. Hence, they have no right to demand or tell the airline how to run its business,” said Bautista in a statement.

He said PAL union’s president Gerry Rivera and Bong Palad have also ceased to be PAL employees and are therefore, no longer recognized by PAL as leaders of the Palea.

“They have no authority to negotiate for and in behalf of PAL workers,” he stressed.

The statement was issued on the heels of Palea’s offer to go back to work and help normalize the airline’s operations on condition that the management halts its outsourcing program until the Supreme Court (SC) hands down a decision on the matter.

As much as 2,600 Palea members went jobless after the PAL began implementing its spin-off program last Saturday after earlier getting clearance from the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) and the Office of the President (OP).

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph

[Statement] Statement of Support to PALEA’s Fight Against Contractualization- DAKILA

Statement of Support to PALEA’s Fight Against Contractualization

by Dakila

Every Filipino should have the right to a secure job; it is one of the basic human rights every person is entitled to.

Today, Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) face a bigger storm than Pedring. In fact, they have been going through the storm for quite a while now. Philippine Airlines, the biggest airline company in and which happen to be the flag carrier of the Philippines, plans to lay-off 2,600 employees and re-hire them as contractual workers for the company. This translates to lower wages, lack of benefits, and an unsecure future.

A PAL employee, for example, who has been in service for 20 years, and earning enough to secure a bright future for his/her family, will be laid-off, re-hired, forced to sign a contract, given minimum wage and no benefits, worried whether he/she will still have a job after 6 months.

Although outsourcing has been the trend of the capitalists these days, this kind of trade steals away dreams and a good, secure future of a Filipino. Corporate bosses are willing to give up many Filipinos dreams and future if only to become richer. They are wolves devouring on ordinary citizens and workers.

If we allow this oppression to continue; if we allow our fellow Filipinos to be robbed a good future from; if we allow to be content with what the rich capitalists like Lucio Tan says is enough for us to live by day by day, then we must be ashamed of ourselves because it means we have given up on fighting for what is truly ours and we have lost our dignity.

Dakila supports PALEA in its war against Contractualization. Everyday, Filipinos lose their future in this storm and drown in a flood of struggles. How will we survive?

Dakila salutes the 2,600 strong PALEA workers who dare to defend their jobs and future.

Yes to a life of dignity and security! Support PALEA’s struggle against Contractualization! End “Endo”!

Dakila – Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism


[Press Release] Don’t fly PAL! Oppose contractualization! –Sanlakas Youth

In time for the mid-year break, militant student group SANLAKAS Youth today issued a call to boycott PAL as a sign of support to the struggle of PAL employees against contractualization.

Carl Reyes, the group’s spokesperson, said, “We expect that a lot of students will go home to their respective provinces and we are grabbing this opportunity to educate them on the plight of PAL employees and their fight for job security. This is very relevant to us since young students are considered the reserved forces of labor and we are the future workers of this country. ”

He furthered that most students are studying to pursue employment after graduation and “for sure, no one would like to land in contractual jobs after 4 to 5 years of burning eyebrows.”

Reyes added they are doing a lot of campaign tactics to popularize their call. Among them is the setting-up of a Facebook support page and the usual groundwork wherein they talk to student groups in different campuses.

“It is very important,” Reyes explained, “for students to understand how this so-called contractualization will affect them. Sooner or later, they will be contractual workers too because the PAL case is a strong precedent on labor jurisprudence.”

He also shared the fact that he could easily relate to PAL employees because he is a Tourism Management major in UP Diliman and will probably pursue a career in the travel industry after graduation.

“Kung sa ngayon ay nahahabaan ang isang karaniwang estudyante sa isang semester, sigurado kaming sa panahong kami’y nagtatrabaho na; maiiklian kami sa isang trabahong katumbas lamang ng haba ng isang semestre,” Reyes concluded. ###

Victor “Primo” Morillo
Executive Assistant/ Youth Coordinator
Office of the President
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)
Business Email: primofdc@yahoo.com
Mobile: 09167706376

[Press Release] PALEA says protest continues, vows fight not over

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) declared that the protest against layoff and contractualization continues with some 400 Philippine Airlines (PAL) employees picketing the In-Flight Center along MIA Road near Terminal 2.

File photo source: Yuen Abana's FB

“The fight is not over. Yesterday PAL employees showed that they are solidly in defiance of the layoff and outsourcing plan. While PAL and the government revealed that they will use overwhelming force to break workers’ legitimate protest,” asserted Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).

PALEA condemned the forcible eviction since yesterday afternoon up to early this morning of hundreds of PAL employees in peaceful protest at the Terminal 2, international cargo terminal and catering department. PAL employees Kathleen Yumol, Rhonan Alonzo, Christian Concepcion were hurt in the dispersal at Terminal 2 led by a combined force of hundreds of Centaur security guards and PNP personnel led by Col. Dionalo Antallan.

PALEA also slammed as scabs the replacement workers brought in by PAL after the eviction. The door of an Airbus A340 with aircraft ID 3430 was damaged when a reliever who was an unlicensed PAL staff misused the airstep. “This accident reveals the dangers of inexperienced contractual employees at work. We know that passengers were inconvenienced by the protest but they should understand that airline safety and efficiency is ensured by regular not contractual labor,” Rivera claimed.

A solidarity forum for PALEA sponsored by the Archdiocesan Ministry for Labor Concerns (AMLC) will be held today from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Our Lady of the Airways Parish (OLAP) to be attended by priest and sisters in the Manila archdiocese and representatives of parish pastoral councils, campus ministries, social service coordinators and lay organizations. Last night PALEA and PM members in Cebu staged a rally at the Mactan International Airport in support of the protest vs. layoff and contractualization.

Rivera also criticized Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, who reports said was to coordinate government efforts to resolve the labor dispute. “Ochoa apparently relinquished control to PAL management as it was they ordering PNP personnel and airport police in dispersal operations. Ever since, as author of the Office of the President decision on the outsourcing case, Ochoa has exacerbated rather than resolved the labor row,” he elaborated.

The union blamed PAL for the inconvenience experienced by the public. “PALEA has repeatedly asked PAL to resolve the labor dispute to no avail. Thus PALEA had advised the public of the protest to be held at anytime but PAL foolishly dismissed our warning and kept on assuring passengers that operations will not be disrupted,” Rivera explained.

He added that “We were forced to hold the protest despite typhoon Pedring since PAL had been bringing in scabs and displacing regular employees since last week ahead of the effectivity date of the termination. We hope that PAL’s passengers, especially the overseas workers, appreciate that the typhoon of contractualization is also a national disaster not just to PAL employees but all Filipino laborers.”

Press Release
September 28, 2011
Contact Alnem Pretencio (PALEA VP) @ 09209543634
Bong Palad (PALEA Secretary) @ 09165740596

[Press Release] PALEA starts protest action vs. lockout

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) started at around 7:00 a.m. today a protest action against the impending lockout on October 1 of 2,600 employees of Philippine Airlines (PAL). “PALEA has decided to act now instead of waiting for the onslaught of the outsourcing typhoon on Friday. This is the mother of all protests against layoff and contractualization.  Nobody will go home and we will not back down until our demand for job security is met,” announced Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).

PAL employees in the departments to be outsourced—airport services, in-flight catering and call center reservations—are leading the protest action. While most PALEA members remain inside their workplaces, off-duty employees will be picketing PAL offices at the airport.

“We call on PAL to begin talks for a settlement to the labor dispute. PALEA demands a stop to the outsourcing plan. We call for the opening of negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). In the CBA negotiations, we can discuss measures to make PAL viable except outsourcing,” Rivera stated.

The PAL-PALEA CBA has remained suspended for 13 years since 1998. PALEA has a case against PAL for refusal to bargain that is pending at the National Labor Relations Commission.

Supporters of PALEA have also started to assemble in solidarity with the protest action. Church and labor groups plan to march up to the PAL In-Flight Center along MIA Road and also to set up a protest camp at the Our Lady of the Airways Parish at the corner of Sucat Road and MIA Road.

“We are calling on our brothers and sisters in the labor movement, our allies in the Church and other sectors, the families of PAL employees, our fellow workers in the communities around the airport and every Filipino who opposes contractualization to gather in solidarity with PALEA in its moment of need,” appealed Renato Magtubo, PM national chair.

PALEA meanwhile asked for the understanding of the public. “Any inconvenience brought about by the protest is temporary. Ultimately the safe and efficient operation of PAL is guaranteed if employees are regular not contractual. It is up to PAL to settle the dispute and prevent further difficulties to passengers and clients of the flag carrier,” Rivera insisted.

He explained that “PAL is determined and desperate in implementing the lockout of employees. Starting last week, even before the effectivity date of the termination on Friday, PAL has been employing scabs and displacing regular employees. PAL has pushed us to the wall. We are left with no choice but to hold this protest action.”

Press Release
September 27, 2011
Contact Alnem Pretencio (PALEA VP) @ 09209543634
Bong Palad (PALEA Secretary) @ 09165740596

[Press Release] PALEA slams PAL for employing scabs

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) today slammed Philippine Airlines (PAL) for illegally employing “scabs” in its operations. Yesterday a commotion occurred at the Terminal 2 tarmac as PALEA members confronted personnel of MacroAsia, a Lucio Tan-owned service provider, who were operating PAL catering trucks and planning to service Japan-bound flights of PAL. PALEA members were able to convince the MacroAsia employees to leave but airport police later arrived to investigate the incident.

“It is illegal for PAL to contract out jobs performed by its regular workers. Further, these workers are in effect scabs hired by PAL in the context of its labor dispute with PALEA. PALEA considers such incidents as provocations by PAL ahead of its impending lockout of workers on October 1,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

He explained that PAL has announced reductions in flights and has been forced to use other service providers or non-PALEA personnel since the outsourcing plan is facing difficulties. “Less than 15% of the affected employees have accepted the separation package and even less than 7% have signed up for work in the service providers Sky Logistics, Sky Kitchen and SPI Global. The outsourcing plan cannot fly,” Rivera insisted.

Also last Thursday, 15 managers and non-PALEA staff tried to check-in passengers bound for Cebu and Davao but were challenged by PALEA members in the passenger handling department. The managers and non-PALEA staff backed down and left.

“PALEA is already consulting our legal counsels on appropriate complaints to be filed. We believe serious violations not just of the labor code but of airport security and civil aviation regulations are occurring due to the entry of non-licensed personnel from other PAL departments and outside companies such as MacroAsia,” Rivera elaborated.

He added that “We call on personnel of MacroAsia, PAL staff from other departments and employees from outlying stations in the provinces who have been brought in supposedly for training to refrain from being used as scabs by management.”

As can be gleaned from postings on the union’s Sulong PALEANS! Facebook account, tensions are rising in the airport as employees continue to defy PAL’s outsourcing plan while management prepares for the intended lockout by the end of the month.

“We appeal to PAL to resolve the present labor dispute in order to prevent any inconvenience to its passengers and clients. It should stop the outsourcing plan and instead open collective bargaining negotiations with the union. PALEA is open to discuss measures to make PAL viable except outsourcing. But should PAL refuse to hear its employees’ legitimate grievances, then PALEA has no recourse but to fight back and defend our regular jobs” Rivera insisted. ###

[Press Release] PALEA holds human chain protest as it claims employees have defied outsourcing plan

File photo by Yuen Abana

The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) held a human chain protest this afternoon at the airport as the September 30 termination date of some 2,600 Philippine Airlines (PAL) employees loomed. PALEA also claimed that an overwhelming number of PAL employees have defied the outsourcing plan by not accepting the separation package and not signing up for the work in the service providers.

“As per our monitoring no more than 15% of the total affected employees have claimed the separation offer from management and even less than 7% have applied for jobs in contractual agencies Sky Logistics, Sky Kitchen and SPI Global,” Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and Partido ng Manggagawa vice chair revealed three days after the lapse of the extended deadline for PAL workers to shift to the service providers.

He added that “Today’s human chain protest is part of the continuing campaign to stop the mass layoff and labor contractualization at PAL. PALEA will not stop until we win this fight.” Tomorrow, eve of the anniversary of martial law, PALEA will join other workers groups in a rally at Mendiola to slam government repression in the labor front. On Wednesday, PALEA will assemble its membership on the occasion of its 65th anniversary.

PALEA is yet to decide whether to attend a dialogue called by Labor Undersecretary Hans Cacdac tomorrow afternoon. The Labor Department said that it is convening the dialogue as part of its conciliation process to avert strikes. PALEA has however not filed any notice of strike and has declared that its actions are simply protests against a lockout by PAL.

“The one week extension of the original September 9 deadline for terminated workers to apply to the service providers is proof of management’s failure to coerce and cajole PALEA members into accepting the mass layoff. Nobody will work in the service providers since they are bogus and unregistered, and also such will mean a downgrading to contractual status. To cite an example, a senior PAL reservation agent with five years of work experience receives P22,400 in salaries and allowances but is being offered by SPI Global a wage of only PhP 10,000. This is not even the minimum salary and clearly a starvation wage for a family breadwinner,” Rivera explained.

Meanwhile PALEA clarified media reports that their protest today is in support of the nationwide strike of PISTON. Rivera stated that “PALEA and PISTON are fighting for separate and distinct causes. Although similar to PAL employees, jeepney drivers have the right to legitimate protest to seek redress of grievances. We hope our friends in media will be more accurate in their reports since there were also incorrect stories that last Friday’s rally was to commemorate PALEA’s anniversary instead of to protest contractualization.” ###

[Press Release] PALEA rally today is warning to PAL vs. lockout of workers

The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) will mobilize more than a thousand employees of Philippine Airlines (PAL) in a big rally this afternoon at the airport. “The mass participation by PAL employees in today’s protest is an expression of unity and defiance against the outsourcing and contractualization plan. This is a warning to PAL against enforcing a lockout of its workers after September 30,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

The protesters will assemble by 3:00 p.m. at the PAL Nichols Gate 2 and then march to the Our Lady of the Airways Parish (OLAP) at the corner of MIA Road and Sucat Road. At OLAP, PALEA will hold a prayer rally and a protest program that will last until 8:00 p.m.

Also participating in the protest action today are hundreds of members of labor and church groups that have been supporting PALEA’s fight for regular jobs. Renato Magtubo, chairperson of Partido ng Manggagawa asserted that “We say to our brothers and sisters in PALEA: Hindi kayo nag-iisa! The fight against contractualization is a struggle for the dignity and future of all workers.”

Spouses and teenage children of PALEA members are joining the rally. Last September 10, PALEA held a family day to involve the spouses and children of its members in the campaign against contractualization. Nerissa Andolong, wife of a PAL employee, exclaimed that “We are 101% behind PALEA. Family members will be at the protest today.”

Also participating in the rally today are representatives of newly-hired and then newly-fired customer service agents (CSA) of PAL. These CSA’s were employed in batches last June and July for six-month contracts but PAL pre-terminated them for no reason early this week. Rivera added that “The fate of these CSA’s is a preview of the life of workers in the service providers. Their working conditions will be at the whim of the company and they can be fired at will. They will have no voice in the workplace and no union to protect them.”

Leading the solidarity for PALEA is the Church-Labor Conference headed by Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo. Last Tuesday, Bishop Pabillo convened a multisectoral forum attended by parish organizations and lay leaders to consolidate support for PALEA. Explaining the support of church organization for PALEA’s protest against PAL’s lockout of its workers, Pabillo said that “If it is in self defense, then it is justified. This should be an action of all people, not just PALEA.”

In a statement, the labor groups supporting PALEA declared that “The decision of the Office of the President and PAL’s outsourcing plan is a blatant attempt to revise labor relations in the country and rollback workers rights. Allowing PAL to layoff some 2,600 workers despite some PhP5 billion in yearly income is a policy shift that says to employers: fire-all-you-can. It mimics the fire-at-will employment relations in the United States where huge profitable corporations outsource and layoff with abandon.”

[Press Release] PAL outsourcing plan cannot fly—PALEA

On the eve of the extended deadline for terminated employees of Philippine Airlines (PAL) to sign up for the service providers, the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) claimed that the outsourcing plan is facing difficulties. “PAL’s outsourcing plan cannot fly or even takeoff because of the unity and defiance of PALEA members,” asserted Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).

Rivera declared that the overwhelming majority of the 2,600 employees who will be affected by the mass layoff and outsourcing plan have not signed the termination notices sent to them and even fewer have signed up to work for the three service providers. “Of the few employees who availed of the separation package, a significant number have already made affidavits of retraction alleging that they only accepted the termination under duress and with deceit,” he revealed.

Tomorrow PALEA is holding a big protest rally to serve as a final warning to PAL against enforcing a lockout on the workers. “The one week extension of the original September 9 deadline for terminated workers to apply to the service providers is proof of management’s failure to coerce and cajole PALEA members into accepting the mass layoff. Still PAL had not retreated from its announcement that September 30 is the last day of work for laid off workers,” Rivera explained.

PALEA also denounced the termination of an additional 55 customer service agents (CSA’s) who were hired in batches last June and July. “These CSA’s were hired on a six-month contract but PAL early this week arbitrarily pre-terminated their employment for no reason at all and were told that October 15 is their last day of work. The fate of these CSA’s is a preview of the life of workers in the service providers. Their working conditions will be at the whim of the company and they can be fired at will. They will have no voice in the workplace and no union to protect them,” Rivera elaborated.

PALEA continues to slam the contractual working conditions at the service providers. Rivera gave a concrete example of the downgrading of pay and status for PAL employees, “A senior PAL reservation agent with five years of work experience receives PhP 22,400 in salaries and allowances but is being offered by service provider SPI Global a wage of only PhP 10,000. This is not even the minimum salary and clearly a starvation wage for a family breadwinner.”

More than a thousand PAL employees are expected to attend the big protest tomorrow with hundreds more participants coming from labor and church groups supporting PALEA’s cause. The protesters will assemble by 2:30 p.m. at PAL Nichols Gate 2 then march to the Our Lady of the Airways Parish at the corner of MIA and Sucat Roads for a program that will last until 8:00 p.m.

Contact Gerry Rivera @ 09157755073

[Blogger] PALEA’s history – koihernandez.wordpress.com


[PALEA] HISTORY (Countdown to September 30 Blog. Day 1, Week 1)
by Koi Hernandez

(My blog post for the next following days is going to be about the PALEA, this is my way to show how I, as a normal blogger and teenager support their struggle.)

(In this1stblog post I’m going to lay out, how it all began.)

PALEA and their history.

On September 21, 1946 a group of about 50 ground technical/mechanics employees based in Nichols field, Pasay City, founded a Union popularly know as the PHILIPPINE AIRLINES EMPLOYEESASSOCIATION (PALEA).

Read more

[Press Release] PALEA slams dagdag-bawas offer to outsourced workers

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) today assailed the terms and conditions of employment being offered at service providers to laidoff Philippine Airlines (PAL) employees. “The cat is now out of the bag. Attached to the termination notices being sent out by PAL are the employment contracts at service providers. It reveals the dagdag-bawas offer to outsourced workers—less wages and benefits but more working hours,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of the Partido ng Manggagawa.

Rivera said that most PAL employees to be terminated are being offered a monthly wage of just PhP 1111.50 for working eight hours a day for six days a week. In comparison he declared that as PAL workers they work 7 ½ a day for five days a week as stipulated in the collective bargaining agreement. “Outsourced employees will be working longer hours but be receiving smaller pay. Who benefits from such sacrifice by PAL workers? Lucio Tan who as the second richest Filipino may just jump to being number one,” Rivera asserted.

Moreover, from regular employees of PAL, the outsourced workers will become contractual workers at the service providers. “PAL employees who have been working for 10, 20 or 30 years will be downgraded to probationary status for six months and after which he or she can simply be terminated after training other younger workers at the service providers,” Rivera claimed.

PALEA plans to escalate its campaign against the planned outsourcing and contractualization this week as PAL management’s September 9 deadline for workers to avail of separation package nears. Tomorrow PALEA will hold a prayer protest in the morning at the Terminal 2 chapel and then a noise barrage in the afternoon at the corner of MIA Road and Sucat Road.

Meanwhile on Thursday big labor groups and church institutions such as the CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action will hold a press conference in support of PALEA. Then on Saturday PALEA will hold a “family day” where spouses and children of PAL employees can express and voice their sentiments on the planned layoff and outsourcing.

“PAL already earned a net profit of USD 72.5 million last fiscal year apart from paying its loans obligation of USD 46.5 million in 2010. Apparently PhP 5 billion in income in not enough for Lucio Tan that he has to depress the wages and working conditions of PAL workers by turning them into contractual workers at service providers,” Rivera added.

Press Release
September 6, 2011
Contact Gerry Rivera @ 09157755073

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