January 24, 2012
The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) welcomed the Chinese new year with a motorcade today to highlight its call to new investors of Philippine Airlines (PAL) for the reinstatement of retrenched workers. PALEA is “watching intently” not necessarily of “welcoming enthusiastically” reports of PAL’s sale to interested investors such as Ramon Ang of SMC and Manny Pangilinan of Metro Pacific.
Nonetheless the union is hoping that a new owner may lead to a breakthrough to resolve the labor dispute. “PALEA’s fight continues in the year of the water dragon. This promises to be the year of PALEA’s return to work,” averred Bong Palad, PALEA secretary.
At 10:00 am, the PALEA motorcade left the protest camp outside the PAL In-Flight Center then proceeded to the Nichols offices onto the Allied Bank Building at Ayala where Lucio Tan holds office then the Senate for the impeachment trial and ended at the airline headquarters at the PNB building at
At the Senate grounds, Palad insisted that “The ‘Coronavela’ is a case of the teapot calling the kettle black and the kettle accusing the teapot it is unclean. Pnoy and
may be fighting over Gloria Arroyo and Hacienda Luisita but both are beholden to Lucio Tan as revealed by the plight of PALEA and the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association (FASAP).” Corona
“Since Lucio Tan has been closed to even talking with PALEA, then any change in PAL’s management leaves open the possibility of a change in attitude to the protracted labor dispute,” Palad said. He explained that “PAL’s new owners may in the end be no different from Lucio Tan as regards its attitude to PALEA. But as it stands now, anybody but Lucio Tan is better. So in the meantime, PALEA’s fight continues and it demands of any new owner the reinstatement of retrenched workers to their regular jobs,” Palad explained.
Contrary to Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda’s view that investments by a new owner in PAL will lead to improve image, PALEA insists that only the return of the locked out skilled and experienced workers will make PAL fly again. “PAL’s operations have deteriorated not because of a lack of finances and shiny new planes but because of the ‘palpak’ service by inexperienced contractuals and scabs. It is not a refleeting but the reinstatement of PALEA members that will lead to PAL’s return to normalcy. Bring back PALEA members and PAL will soar again in three days,” Palad asserts.
He also revealed that PALEA president Gerry Rivera is set to testify on tomorrow (January 24 noon EST) at
on the repression of labor rights by the government. PALEA has been invited to the hearing by the US Trade Representative on the petition by the government for trade benefits under the GSP (general system of preferences). Countries which respect internationally core labor rights and standards receive preferential treatment from the Washington DC . US