Union accuses PAL of ‘beerhouse mentality’

MANILA, Philippine - The union of flight attendants and stewards of Philippine Airlines Wednesday accused the national flag carrier’s management of having a beerhouse mentality in seeking to retire flight attendants when they turn 40 or 45 years old.

Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) president Bob Anduiza said PAL wanted to retire its attendants earlier because it wanted younger and pretty flight attendants.

What PAL is not saying is they want younger and pretty flight attendants because of the outmoded stereotyping of treating them as sex objects. It is plain sexism and age discrimination, Anduiza said in a statement.

It’s the ‘beerhouse’ mentality of lusting for young and pretty girls as cocktail waitresses, he added.

But PAL management accused the union of using gutter language.

The union leaders accuse PAL of ‘beerhouse mentality’ and yet, their own statement reveals their true state of mind and exposes their low regard for their colleagues. This is a deplorable ‘below the belt’ tactic that only serves to inflame emotions and drive a wedge between management and its female workers, PAL said in a statement.

Anduiza said other PAL employees, including PAL pilots, whether male or female were allowed to work until 65 years old as long as they are healthy enough to work.

Then, why does PAL insist on retiring its flight attendants at 40 or 45 years old? he said.

Anduiza said PAL president Jaime Bautista’s contention that its retirement policy was approved by the union in its previous collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) was a bankrupt argument.

Collective bargaining agreements, as any decent company knows, expire every five years, with economic renegotiations every three years. Thus, all issues are open and subject to negotiations, Anduiza said.

He said that since the year 2000, FASAP had been proposing to raise the retirement age of its members but PAL would always insist on the 40, 45, and 55 years old retirement ages.

PAL would employ delaying tactics, which causes the CBA negotiations to drag on until the union becomes desperate and settles for its much needed pay increases. PAL management would then promise the union to take up the retirement issues, in the next round of CBA negotiations, Anduiza said.

In its statement, PAL said that both parties are mandated to strictly follow the CBA’s provisions.

It is not as if PAL is forcing its cabin attendants to retire early. These provisions were reached in previous CBAs, PAL said.

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