PAL flight attendants file notice of strike
Posted at 09/09/2010 12:03 PM
MANILA, Philippines - The Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) filed a notice of strike with the Department of Labor and Employment on Thursday.
FASAP Vice-President Andy Ortega said the group's 1,600 members are expected to join the strike.
The notice of strike was filed after FASAP failed to reach a compromise agreement with Philippine Airlines' management during mediation talks at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board last August 9.
FASAP withdrew from the talks after PAL refused to change its policies on mandatory retirement age and on maternity and pregnancy leaves.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz earlier said that after a notice of strike is filed, it will take 30 days for a cooling off period to still look for a settlement.
"Once we go on strike, no flight will take off," said Bob Anduiza, president of FASAP.
"This will ground PAL's entire operations," he told a news conference.
PAL spokeswoman Cielo Villaluna appealed to the union to reconsider and return to the negotiating table.
"This will affect Philippine tourism and our financial position," Villaluna said in a radio interview, noting that the country's tourism sector has already taken a blow from the August 23 Manila hostage crisis.
But contrary to FASAP's claim, Villaluna said PAL's flights will not be disrupted if the strike pushes through. She said they are ready for contingencies.
The cabin staff are seeking a raise that would put their pay on par with that offered by foreign carriers. They are also demanding paid maternity leave and an end to a company policy that forces female attendants to retire at the age of 40.
There was no immediate comment from the labor department.
The planned strike is the latest in a string of labor problems to hit the national flag-carrier. Last month, 25 pilots and first officers of PAL's short-haul aircraft suddenly quit for higher paying jobs abroad, forcing the abrupt cancellation of several flights. With additional report by Agence France Presse
However, Anduiza said since 2000, they have been trying to raise the retirement age of both male and female flight attendants to 60 years old.
"PAL however would always insist on the 40, 45, and 55 years old retirement ages," he said in an August 25 article on the FASAP website.
"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. It's the 'beer house' mentality of lusting for young and pretty girls as cocktail waitresses," he added. –VVP, GMANews.TV
PAL flight attendants to stage strike vs age discrimination09/09/2010 11:58 AM
Share36 The flight attendants of flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) filed a notice of strike at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Thursday to protest what they called "age discrimination."
The Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) announced their planned strike at a press conference in Pasay City before proceeding to the DOLE office to file the notice of strike.'
According to a report of dzXL radio, the placards at the FASAP press conference venue read "100 percent strike" and "No to age ... discrimination."
"Pag sinunod namin we're looking at end of October hanggang November ... may karapatan kaming magwelga, ie-exercise namin ito," FASAP president Bob Anduiza said in an interview on dzXL radio.
(If we follow procedures, we expect the strike to last end-October until November... We have a right to strike, and we will exercise it)
Anduiza said they will announce the actual date of the strike soon.
PAL spokeswoman Cielo Villaluna, however, appealed to the FASAP not to push through with the strike, which she called as "untimely."
Villaluna instead urged the attendants to return to the negotiation table.
From the Taipan who charges others with slavery: Earlier, PAL management has threatened to file charges in court against the pilots who resigned, citing “breach of contract” and “debts” owed them for the cost of their aviation school training. Labor secretary Rosalinda Baldoz has echoed PAL management’s denial that the pilots’ mass resignation had nothing to do with the labor disputes in PAL. Baldoz has also suggested a longer notice, which is dubbed as a “slavery bond” in other countries, before pilots can leave PAL for overseas jobs.
Per aviation industry standards, PAL pilots are given “lower salaries” than their counterparts in other airlines, according to pilots interviewed by Bulatlat but who requested anonymity, citing a gag order by management, among others.
But more than the salary, the resentment among the pilots and first officers is rooted in the way the company treated them. A co-pilot revealed that the mass resignation began with the forced resignation of 11 co-pilots who earlier refused to be transferred to Air Philippines, a budget airline also owned by business tycoon Lucio Tan.
In 2008, tinanggal ng Taipan ang kanyang kapatid aka si Mr. Management sa PAL at pinasok niya si Miss Management.
In 2008, PAL owner took out brother aka Mr. Management and replaced him with Miss Management.