DOTC maps out contingency plans for PAL strike
The Department of Transportation and Communications has started threshing out contingency plans for a possible strike that may cripple flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL).
DOTC Secretary Jose de Jesus said Saturday he has been meeting frequently with concerned government agencies to discuss the details of the plans.
We are now drawing up contingency plans to minimize the disruption to PAL operations. Of course you have heard or read about the president making an appeal to PAL and the [flight attendants'] union to try to settle their differences so there will be no disruption in the service of PAL," he said on government-run dzRB radio.
He did not say if the contingency plans are in coordination with PAL management, which said on Friday it is drawing up its own contingency measures should the strike push through.
De Jesus, however, did not give details of the contingency plans for now.
Meanwhile, De Jesus admitted there is still no definite policy on President Benigno Aquino III’s threat to open up Philippine skies to foreign airlines if a strike cripples PAL.
[But] our government, the cabinet and the president, regardless of whatever anybody else thinks what is best for the country, will do what is best for the majority, and not for a few interest groups," he added.
In Malacañang, meanwhile, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Palace will still request PAL and the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines to settle these things," and resolve those concerns peacefully so the riding public will not be inconvenienced." — LBG, GMANews.TV
As PAL strike looms, Aquino threatens to open RP skies
JAM SISANTE, GMANews.TV
President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III on Friday renewed his threat to open Philippine skies to other airlines if the country's flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL), fails to resolve its row with its flight attendants.
In an ambush interview after a Navy counter-terror demo in Cavite, Aquino said the policy review about opening Philippine skies is now being "fast-tracked."
"The open skies policy, the review is bring fast-tracked and if it is necessary we will do it to minimize disruption to the riding public," Aquino said.
Aquino made the statement a day after the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) filed a notice of strike at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). According to FASAP president Bob Anduiza, their strike may start either late October or November.
PALEA has been opposing the planned massive layoff and outsourcing of PAL's core functions such as passenger handling, ramp and cargo handling and customer care units to third party service providers.
PM chairman and former labor partylist Rep. Renato Magtubo said that the plan would affect the job security of at least 2,600 employees who are intended to become contractual workers.
Sensing a looming strike scenario in PAL, Magtubo urged the Aquino government to make an advance crisis management plan on this issue to avoid repeating a major disorder that attended the recent hostage crisis in Manila.
"This is definitely bigger than the recent hostage crisis as it involves thousands of workers facing job loss, discrimination, and deteriorating working conditions in PAL," said Magtubo in a statement furnished to The FREEMAN.
The labor leader said the proper way of state intervention on this problem is to prevent PAL from enforcing its illegal, anti-labor and discriminatory policies such as the planned contractualization of its ground employees and the forced early retirement plan for its female cabin crews.
Magtubo further said the FASAP and PALEA have the support of almost all the organized labor groups in the country as well as other advocacy groups that are strongly opposed to contractualization and discrimination in the labor sector.
PAL's flight crew union filed a notice of strike the other day citing the management's bad faith in negotiations as their new collective bargaining agreement already dragged for three years.
FASAP, on the other hand, is opposing PAL's plan to have its female cabin crews retire upon reaching 40 years old. (FREEMAN)
CEBU, Philippines ~ The management of flag carrier Philippine Airlines yesterday assured the riding public of continued and unhampered service despite a notice of strike filed by its cabin crew union.
"PAL's operations remain normal and all flights are operating as scheduled. There is no immediate work stoppage," PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said in a state-ment.
However, PAL said the notice of strike filed by the Flight Attendants' and Stewards' Association of the Philippines (FASAP) is untimely as it would scare away tour-ists and can cause further damage to the flag carrier's fragile finances.
Taipan loses control of Fortune Tobacco. PAL to go on strike. Which company is next?