Showing posts with label strike. Show all posts
Showing posts with label strike. Show all posts

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Carmen Copper mine union statement on settlement of labor dispute

PAMCC press con announcing planned strike
Press Statement
February 27, 2014
PAMCC-AGLO-PM

Today we announce that the looming strike at the country’s biggest mine has been averted with the union gaining significant concessions in its demands, especially a major advance in the fight against contractualization.

We have withdrawn the Notice of Strike (NOS) we have filed before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) as the union has reached an agreement with Carmen Copper Corp. (CCC) management yesterday afternoon during a conciliation conference at the NCMB.

We welcome management’s willingness to meet union demands in order to avoid a costly strike. The reasonableness of our demands combined with the support of the entire union membership made this settlement with the management possible.

This settlement is a victory for the union in general and specifically it is a step forward in protecting job security at the mine.

Out of four main issues we raised as basis for the NOS, only one outstanding issue was left:

1. Management commits to regularize 250 casual employees by March 8, 2014. For its smooth implementation, an oversight committee will be set up composed of union and management representatives;

2. Both the management and union agree to respect due process concerning the alleged infractions of 33 employees. On the complaint of double standard in the implementation of company rules ad regulations, management commits to be transparent with the union on all the administrative hearings and furnish copies of pertinent documents relevant to the relevant cases;

3. Management commits to act on the complaint of union Interference and unfair labor practice. Union will give the management free hand on the investigation and subsequent findings as a result of the said investigation.

The outstanding issue left is complaints regarding violations of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The union and management have agreed to put the issue on preventive mediation. The NCMB has set a preventive mediation hearing on March 13, 2014 to start the ball rolling on the resolution of the remaining issue.


The union remains vigilant in the implementation of the settlement agreement. We remain committed to industrial peace on the basis of respect for workers rights and welfare, especially compliance with the existing CBA between the union and the company.

Friday, February 14, 2014

CARMEN COPPER UNION STATEMENT ON IMPENDING STRIKE

Press Statement
February 13, 2014

The Carmen Copper Corporation (CCC) management is creating a scenario similar to the 1980’s. An all-out attack against workers and repression of the labor union are in progress right now. But just as in the 1980’s, the old union called PAMA survived and won, we will again prove to the management that they have picked the wrong fight. We, the entire 3,000-strong membership of PAMCC, will stand our ground and we will prevail. It is because history is on our side.
It is our time to counter and fight back with all the means available to us. We will strike where it will hurt the most. Today we filed a Notice of Strike (NOS) before the NCMB on the grounds of CBA violations and unfair labor practices. We will respect the cooling off period but after that we will hold a strike! This will be a winner take all battle, its either us who will surrender or them. This is our demand. We’ve been here before and we’ve done this before. PAMA then is the PAMCC now.

During the rehabilitation stage of our Company, we fully cooperated in order for recovery to proceed. Indeed, from 2007 to 2012 not a single labor dispute took place. A harmonious relationship between labor and management existed at that time. Even though the salary was meager compared to the industry standard, we endured the sacrifice n the spirit of rehabilitation. In short, we let ourselves be used by the management in order for the company to take off.
CCC did take off after 5 years, earning P800 million pesos per shipment. The company was able to attract new investments like the Henry Sy group. CCC kept on expanding its operations with the workforce growing continuously.
But the management wants more from us. To further boost profit, the management must get rid of the genuine workers union – the PAMCC. At the final stage of rehabilitation, the management organized, supported and funded a company union – the CCWLO. It became clear that the last phase of rehabilitation meant busting the genuine union! But the management did not succeed because their own creation exploded in front of their face. CCWLO registration was cancelled and delisted from the roster of legitimate labor organizations.
The Management wants more from us. Little by little they are taking back the welfare and benefits enjoyed by the workers under our collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Medicine allowances are limited to only P6,000 per year. The next of kin provision on hiring of new employees is not being followed and instead workers not related to any of the union members are hired. Wage discrimination is rampant. Issuance of company uniforms are overdue. The Mining Act of 1995 is blatantly violated, specifically on priority hiring of residents of barangays affected by mining. Finally a double standard exists on the implementation of company rules specifically on AWOL cases.
The management wants more from us. Little by little they are contracting out jobs in the mine site that are necessary and desirable to the business of CCC while casual employees remain even beyond the six months of continued service in the company.
PAMCC will not take this sitting down. We will resist and fight back. There is no choice left to us but to end the 5 years of “harmonious relationship” between PAMCC and CCC. So far, We have been able to defend our ranks from the attacks of management but they are becoming more hard-headed and unreasonable.
Last year, management used the PNP to harass our leaders by conducting two illegal raids in the house and office of our union president and union treasurer. The raiding team planted explosives and ammunitions as manufactured evidence for the filing of criminal cases against our two union leaders. But the objective of their harassment was a complete failure. Our two leaders further deepened their resolve to fight for our union and workers. We raised the issue before the ILO, government agencies and human rights groups.

Two weeks ago, management used the DOJ thru the hoodlums in robe in the Toledo RTC to issue a warrant of arrest against our two leaders. This judge violated all protocols and process on issuing the warrants. Again, this will not succeed because all the charges are fabricated and therefore will be dismissed in due time.

We will be demonized by the management through its paid hacks in the media. That is why we are doing this media conference so that the public would understand us, the issues involved and why did we arrived at this decision.


PANAGHIUSA SA MAMUMUO SA CARMEN COPPER – ASSOCIATION OF GENUINE LABOR ORGANIZATIONS – PARTIDO NG MANGGAGAWA (PAMCC-AGLO-PM)

MEMBER: NAGKAISA

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

PM: Subject outsourcing to bargaining talks to prevent strike

PALEA and Church-Labor Conference ends motorcade with program at Ninoy Aquino monumnet in Ayala Ave.
Press Release
August 23, 2011

Amidst the Aquino administration’s apprehensions about a strike at Philippine Airlines (PAL), the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) proposed that the controversial outsourcing plan be subject to collective bargaining negotiations. Renato Magtubo, PM chairperson, said that “Outsourcing should be part of bilateral talks between the company and the union instead of unilaterally imposed on its employees. This is the solution to the two-year long labor row between PAL and the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA).”

Yesterday Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas called on PAL to setup contingency plans for a work stoppage at the flag carrier. Last week Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda asked PALEA not to paralyze the operations of the flag carrier.

Magtubo argued that “Instead of preparing to break any picket line and calling on PALEA not to strike—a right is guaranteed by law and an instrument of last resort by workers— government must exert moral suasion on PAL to subject the outsourcing plan to collective bargaining negotiations.”

He added that “For 13 long years, PAL employees have sacrificed their right to bargain collectively and now that the flag carrier is financially healthy, it will reward its workers by mass termination. Since 1998, the collective bargaining agreement has been suspended and as a consequence, just to cite an example, the last wage hike for PAL’s ground crew was in 2008.”

Meanwhile Gerry Rivera, PALEA president, announced that they are preparing for more protests this week even as their lawyers are finalizing the petition to be filed at the Court of Appeals. Yesterday PALEA led a protest motorcade of some 20 cars and 50 motorcycles from the Philippine Export Zone Authority office in
Roxas Boulevard
to the Ninoy Aquino monument in
Ayala Ave.
in Makati. PALEA insists that the Office of the President ruling allowing the outsourcing plan is not yet executory pending a final judicial resolution of the case and vows to resist should management prematurely implement the mass layoff of 2,600 workers.

“If PNoy wants to prevent a strike at PAL, government should have heeded workers demands for regular jobs instead of agreeing to Lucio Tan’s contractualization scheme,” Magtubo added. Describing PALEA as “the last line of defense against contractualization,” PM and other big labor groups have vowed to support the embattled union in its fight.

Friday, June 10, 2011

TRUCK WORKERS LAUNCH PROTEST STRIKE AGAINST HARBOUR-LINK MANAGEMENT

PRESS RELEASE

6 June 2011
UNITED PANAY & ILOILO TRUCK DRIVERS ASSOCIATION
 
The truck drivers of Harbour-Link Transport, Inc. launched protest action today in front of its office and motor pool located at Brgy. Banoyao along coastal road in La Paz , Iloilo City .

The 15 drivers were joined by their families in the protest expressing disgust over Harbour-Link management’s continued to refusal to provide them of incentives, such as; 13th month pay, service incentive leave pay, and holiday pay since 2004.

According to Elmer Blancaflor, spokesperson of the drivers, “we have not been receiving these incentive pay since 2004 and we call on the management to settle its obligations to us especially in these times of desperate need with the opening of the classes.”

“These incentives are law mandated and consistent in upholding the labor standards in the workplace. We are only asking from the management what is due for us,” stressed Blancaflor.

Moreover, the drivers are likewise demanding that the management reinstate them back to work after they were unjustly relieved of driving duties by gathering from them the truck keys the day after they lodged a complaint at the regional office of National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC).  

The filing of complaint is a necessary legal step that we took in order for the management to realize that they cannot abandon their obligations to their workers and to formalize our demand on the proper venue. The management however seem displeased by our actions thus relieved us from our work,” explained by Blancaflor.    

The truck drivers of Harbour-Link Transport are members of the United Panay and Iloilo Truck Drivers Association (UPTDA), a group of Class “A” licensed and skilled drivers from different companies in the container van and forwarding industry formed by Partido ng Manggagawa (PM Panay-Guimaras).

Cito Cordero, president of UPTDA explained that “if the management and legal counsel of Harbour-Link are guided by the labor standards set forth by our labor laws then they are aware that they deliberately committed “constructive dismissal” after they relieved the drivers of driving duties following their filing of a complaint.”

“This is a clear violation against the driver-workers. A management who is aware of its responsibilities yet has engaged itself in violating it is also committing abuse to its workers,” said Cordero.

The management must realize that we, the workers, are the lifeblood of our industries and of our economy and nation. What they are doing anti-workers and unacceptable to the working class,” criticized Cordero.

For his part, Ronald Payda, coordinator of PM Panay-Guimaras shared that the management of Harbour-Link cannot just exercise its “management prerogative” anytime they see fit.’

Payda averred, that there are parameters provided on how management can address the problems of its workers putting limitations to management prerogatives. I urge their lawyer, Atty. Jose Junio Jacela to refresh his memory regarding fair labor practices by reviewing his labor law.”

“We call on all our fellow workers to unite and support the cause of Harbour-Link drivers. Our unity is the only weapon that we have in our hands as we push for our collective demand for proper compensations and benefits, concluded Payda.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

PALEA ready to defy DOLE order

Press Release
April 2, 2011
PALEA

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) declared that it is ready to defy the order of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) that enjoined the planned paralyzing strike at Philippine Airlines (PAL). “We are ready to defy the order of Labor Secretary Baldoz any time we deem it necessary to go on strike in order to prevent layoff and contractualization at PAL. Baldoz’ latest order is a bad April fool’s prank. But the order has not stopped a strike at PAL, it has merely postponed it to a date that PAL and the government cannot now know in advance,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

PALEA lambasted the certification order signed by Sec. Baldoz which was served on the union office as a mobilization of some two thousand PAL employees and supporters snarled traffic at the airport area. “The order is the last nail on the coffin of labor rights in the country. PNoy’s government is executing one by one the Constitutionally-guaranteed rights of workers to security of tenure, collective bargaining and peaceful concerted action including strikes. PNoy has not only legalized the actions of Lucio Tan but also illegalized the action PALEA through Baldoz’ order. But PALEA will resist being a victim of PNoy’s anti-labor policy,” Rivera elaborated.

Rivera called on the 3,700 members of PALEA to remain vigilant and ready to go on strike any time. PALEA plans to hold protests next week against the DOLE order in coordination with a labor unity coalition of moderate to militant workers groups. Among other activities, PALEA and other labor groups will picket the DOLE Intramuros main office and tear a copy of the order from Baldoz.

“The right to strike is a Constitutionally-protected freedom by workers to defend themselves against the awesome powers of capital. PNoy has taken the crooked path instead of the straight road by siding with Lucio Tan, the country’s second richest man and the workers number one enemy,” insisted Renato Magtubo, chair PM, one of big labor groups in solidarity with PALEA.

PALEA will meet the different labor groups today at the TUCP compound in Quezon City to map out joint activities. The groups seek to galvanize public opinion in support of PALEA’s campaign against contractualization. Among the planned activities are workers assemblies, advocates fora and a labor caravan around industrial areas and ecozones.

PALEA also revealed that the case they plan to file with the International Labor Organization against government’s suppression of the conventions on the right to self-organization and collective bargaining, and the complaint will be stronger with the latest DOLE order as further evidence.

Friday, April 1, 2011

All systems go for nationwide strike, Big labor unity rally today is dress rehearsal

Press Release
April 1, 2011
PALEA

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) today announced that it is all systems go for its first nationwide strike since 1998 even as the Department of Labor and Employment makes a last ditch mediation effort. Big labor groups together with PALEA will hold a big rally at the airport this afternoon as a dress rehearsal for the work stoppage which can happen any day after the lapse of the strike ban today.

“PALEA is 100% ready for a strike that will paralyze the operations of PAL that in cahoots with the Aquino government wants to deny workers the right to regular jobs and a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The only thing that can prevent a strike is for PAL to heed the demand to stop outsourcing and open CBA negotiations without preconditions,” declared Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).

At 5:00 p.m. today, more than a thousand PAL employees and members of big labor groups such as PM, TUCP, APL, Makabayan, NCL, BMP, PSLINK, the unions of PLDT, PNR and Fortune Tobacco will hold a big rally and torch parade at the Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. “This mass action is an expression of the unity of the labor movement in the common fight for regular jobs and against the government’s policy of contractualization. This is also a dress rehearsal for the nationwide strike,” explained Rivera.

Synchronized mass actions will also be staged in the key international airports of Cebu and Davao. The labor unity rally will be at 11:00 a.m. in Davao and then later at 4:00 pm in Cebu. Meanwhile in Bacolod, a coalition of labor groups called All Workers Alliance for Regular Employment and Against Contractualization (AWARE AKO) led by PALEA, PM, TUCP and APL will hold a presscon at 10:00 a.m. today.

Rivera insisted that “PAL will earn $1.6 billion in profit this year. Yet it refuses to share the fruits of production with its employees via a CBA. PAL’s workers have already sacrificed with a 12-year CBA suspension that has resulted in the stagnation of wages, benefits and working conditions. In contrast Lucio Tan has become even richer as a result of CBA moratorium and outsourcing.”

PM joins labor unity torch parade for PALEA

Press Release
April 1, 2011

The Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) will mobilize several hundred workers from factories in Metro Manila and Calabarzon for the labor unity march today at the airport. The PM contingent will assemble at 3:30 p.m. at Pasay Rotonda before marching to the PAL Nichols Gate 2 where a salubungan will transpire with PAL employees in full uniform. From there the labor unity march will proceed to the Our Lady of the Airways Parish at the corner of MIA Road and Sucat Road for the joint rally.

Renato Magtubo, PM national chair, stated that “The labor movement stands as one body and speaks with one voice. We condemn PNoy’s decision allowing the outsourcing at PAL which will lead to the termination of 2,600 employees and their shift as contractual workers in service providers. This sends the chilling message to the workers that contractualization is the labor policy of the Aquino administration. Si Lucio Tan pala ang boss ni PNoy.”

PM, together with other big labor groups, vowed to mobilize support when the PALEA strike breaks out. Besides labor groups, other sectors have expressed solidarity with PALEA. Human rights groups yesterday declared their opposition to the Office of the President decision as a transgression of economic and social rights. The support of key Catholic bishops for PALEA’s fight is also expected. Student and youth groups will likewise participate in the mass actions. The solidarity of international labor groups is forthcoming in the next few days.

Magtubo added that “Lucio Tan is the no. 2 richest Filipino but the no.1 workers enemy. A victory by PALEA against contractualization will be the victory of all Filipino workers.”

“PAL will layoff 2,600 employees while tens of thousands of OFW’s are returning from unrests and disasters abroad, and hundreds of thousands of college graduates enter the labor force this April. Where is PNoy’s employment policy then?” Magtubo asked.

He warned that “PNoy’s decision is a tsunami that will sweep the remaining protection enjoyed by workers. But the labor movement will struggle against this man-made disaster. PNoy’s trust ratings fell because of a car and it will dive further because of airplanes.”

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Labor groups condemn P-Noy’s decision on PAL, will support PALEA’s planned strike for job security and CBA


NEWS RELEASE
Labor Unity News Conference
Quezon City
March 29, 2011


The country’s biggest labor groups condemned the decision of the Office of the President allowing the outsourcing at Philippine Airlines which will lead to the termination of some 2,600 employees and their shift as contractual workers in service providers.



In a labor unity meeting and a news conference held in Quezon City this morning, the groups expressed their solidarity with the Philippine Airlines Employees Association’s (PALEA) fight for regular jobs and the right to a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).



The names of organizations that expressed support for PALEA are listed below.



“This decision sends the chilling message to the workers that outsourcing and contractualization is the labor and economic policy of the Aquino administration. It exposed P-Noy’s “Kayo ang boss ko” slogan as a myth,” stated the groups’ unity statement.



They also vowed support for the planned strike by PALEA. Another PAL union, the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP), said they will “never cross the lines” once picketlines are set up by members of PALEA.



Several activities had been lined up by the groups in mounting their opposition to the planned mass layoff and contractualization in PAL. These include coordinated nationwide picket/rallies on April 1, which is the end of the strike countdown by PALEA.



The labor groups were disappointed with President Aquino for allowing PAL to layoff 2,600 employees while tens of thousands of OFW’s are returning from unrests and disasters abroad, and hundreds of thousands of college graduates enter the labor force this April with grim prospects of employment.



Labor leaders appealed for support from fellow workers and public understanding for PALEA’s planned actions.



“Nananawagan kami sa mga kababayang Pilipino at kapatid na manggagawa na makiisa sa labang ito. Ang laban ng PALEA ay laban nating lahat.”



PAL CBA counter-proposal “a farce”



Meanwhile, PALEA described PAL’s misnamed CBA counter-proposal submitted to DOLE as a “terminate first, negotiate later” position.



“The “counter-proposal” to PALEA’s proposed CBA is a confirmation of management’s bad faith and stubborn refusal to negotiate with the union. It is evident that PAL has no intention to negotiate. What PAL wants is MASS TERMINATION first before CBA NEGOTIATION,” lamented PALEA President Gerry Rivera.



Rivera who is also the Vice President of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) said that even if the decision of the Office of the President is not yet final and has just been issued a few days ago, PAL asserts that the CBA counter-proposal shall cover only those employees who will be left behind after the mass termination.



“PAL is conveniently using the case before the Office of the President as an excuse to defeat PALEA’s right to collective bargaining,” added Rivera.



PALEA has stated as early as last year that the company’s planned mass termination of thousands of regular employees and union members is intended to evade PAL’s responsibility to negotiate a new CBA with PALEA.



Rivera explained that despite the excellent financial condition of the company - US$ 75.0 Million or PHP 3 Billion, for nine months - PAL refuses to share the benefits of the company’s operations to its workers, through a CBA.



“After making its workers sacrifice their collective bargaining rights for more than a decade, PAL now rewards them with termination and refusal to bargain,” stated Rivera.



According to Rivera, PAL is adopting a three-strike approach against PALEA:



 First, PAL violates the workers’ RIGHT TO SECURITY OF TENURE by terminating thousands of regular employees

 Second, PAL violates the workers’ RIGHT TO SELF-ORGANIZATION through its efforts to bust the union;

 Third, PAL violates the workers’ RIGHT TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING by refusing to bargain with PALEA for a new CBA.



Assault against workers’ rights



Partido ng Manggagawa chair Renato Magtubo said the labor movement expected the Aquino government to uphold workers’ rights but they were greatly disappointed.



“Unfortunately, the government, first, through the DOLE, with Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, and, now the Office of the President, with Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa, has sided with PAL, and has allowed PAL’s assault against the workers’ fundamental rights,” said the former partylist representative



Rivera and Magtubo both agreed that when even the government is willing to sacrifice the rights of workers in favor of Lucio Tan’s company and interests, workers have no other recourse but to use a right that is still within our hands, the right to strike.



“In resorting to a strike, we do not fight for money, we fight for our rights! And we fight not just for PALEA members, but for all workers in the country,” concluded the two labor leaders.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LIST OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS SUPPORTING PALEA



1. FASAP- Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines

2. Partido ng Manggagawa

3. ABS-CBN IJM Union

4. ADFW – Association of Displaced Filipino Workers

5. AMLC – Archdiocese of Manila Ministry for Labor Concerns

6. APL- Alliance of Progressive Labor,

7. BMP-Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino

8. CLC- Church Labor Conference

9. FTLU-Fortune Tobacco Labor Union

10. KASAMA Federation

11. KATIPUNAN- NLM Katipunan ng Nakakaisang Lakas ng Manggagawa

12. MAKABAYAN- Manggagawa para sa Kalayaan ng Bayan

13. MKP- Manggagawa sa Komunikasyon sa Pilipinas

14. Maynilad Water Supervisors Association

15. MELF- Metro East Labor Federation

16. NFL- National Federation of Labor

17. PAMAVA – Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa ng Valenzuela

18. PMT- Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon

19. PSLINK- Public Services Labor Independent Confederation

20. SMP- Samahang Manggagawa ng Paranaque

21. SUPER – Solidarity of Unions in the Philippines for Empowerment and Reforms

22. TUCP- Trade Union Congress of the Philippines

23. UNP- Union Network Philippines

24. UFSW – Unified Filipino Service Workers

25. UCWA - United Cavite Workers Association

26. UM- Urban Missionaries

27. UTWU- United Transport Workers Organization

28. Philippine Government Employees Association (PAGEA)

29. National Confederation of Labor Organizations (NCL)

30. National Mining and Allied Workers Union-ICEM

31. Bagong Kapisanang ng mga Manggagawa sa Philippine National Railways (BKM-PNR)


Monday, March 28, 2011

PALEA lambasts PNoy decision on PAL outsourcing in Mendiola indignation rally

Press Release
March 28, 2011
PALEA

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) lambasted President Benigno Aquino and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa in an indignation rally today at Mendiola to protest the decision of the Office of the President (OP) allowing the mass layoff of 2,600 employees of Philippine Airlines (PAL). “In the OP decision that he penned, Ochoa exposed who the real boss of this government is. It is Lucio Tan not the Filipino people. This decision ends the myth of PNoy’s ‘Kayo ang boss ko’ slogan,” exclaimed Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).

Some 200 PALEA members and supporters from PM and the anti-contractualization coalition KONTRA assembled at Morayta in Manila this morning and then marched to Mendiola. They brought placards and streamers that say “Lucio Tan: No. 2 richest Filipino, No. 1 workers enemy,” “Sa desisyon ng Malacanang, may bagong mansion ba si Ochoa?” and “Si Lucio Tan ang boss ko—PNoy.”

PALEA has already started the countdown to its first nationwide strike since the crippling 1998 PAL work stoppage. The ban on a strike at PAL ends on April 1, seven days after PALEA submitted the results of the strike vote. An overwhelming 95% of PALEA members who participated in the strike poll voted yes compared to the 86% yes in the strike vote last December.

“In drafting the OP decision as the little president, Ochoa undermined the Constitution, ILO conventions and the PAL-PALEA CBA which all guaranteed the job security and right to bargain of workers. In the decision Ochoa found utterly nothing wrong in PAL’s contractualization scheme and he turned a blind eye to all the evidence on PAL’s profitable operations. We will not be surprised if a second glass mansion is the reason behind this decision,” Rivera insisted.

“In the conflict between the second richest Filipino and thousands of PAL workers, PNoy chose to side with the capitalist rather the workers. For PNoy, it is ok for PAL to retrench 2,600 workers at a time when the company will earn $1.6 billion in annual profit and when thousands of OFW’s are returning home to escape unrest and disaster abroad. What is this government’s employment policy? Demolish all the regular jobs and turn workers into contractuals!” argued Rivera.

Tomorrow a labor unity press conference will be held by different groups in Quezon City to condemn the decision of the Office of the President to allow outsourcing at PAL and to express solidarity with PALEA.

On Friday, a big rally will be held near the airport as a dress rehearsal for the actual strike. Hundreds of PALEA members are expected to participate in the early evening and torch parade from Nichols Gate 2 to the Our Lady of the Airways Parish. The Friday big rally will be nationally coordinated with similar mass actions to be held in the airports of Cebu, Davao, Bacolod and General Santos City.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

PALEA calls on members to prepare for nationwide strike as countdown begins

Press Release
March 27, 2011
PALEA

As the countdown to the lapse of the cooling off period begins, the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) called on its 3,500 members to prepare for the first nationwide strike since the crippling 1998 work stoppage at Philippine Airlines (PAL).

“In the face of PAL’s refusal to bargain without preconditions and of PNoy’s connivance in Lucio Tan’s contractualization scheme, we are forced to go on strike so that our demand for regular jobs and a new collective bargaining agreement are heard,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).

The ban on a strike at PAL lifts on April 1, seven days after PALEA notified the Department of Labor and Employment of the results of the strike vote. A massive 95% of PALEA members who participated in the strike poll voted yes. This was higher than the 86% yes in the strike vote last December. In Cebu, 153 PALEA members voted yes and a mere 20 voted no with one spoiled ballot for an 87% mandate for a work stoppage from a 65% turnout of voters.

PALEA also lambasted Malacanang for the decision. “The decision is not a compromise but a sellout to Lucio Tan. The decision turned a blind eye to the fact that PAL is expecting $1.6 billion in profit despite oil price hikes. Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa is dreaming in a glass mansion if he thinks that PAL workers will be bought off with higher separation pay,” Rivera elaborated.

“PAL’s intransigence and PNoy’s collaboration has pushed us to the wall and so we call on our 3,500 members in all PAL offices and outlying stations to be ready to stop work anytime after April 1,” Rivera explained.

In preparation for the strike, PALEA and labor groups will launch a series of protest actions next week, including a rally in Cebu. On Friday, a big rally will be held near the airport as a dress rehearsal for the actual strike. The Friday big rally will be nationally coordinated with similar mass actions to be held in the airports of Cebu, Davao, Bacolod and General Santos City. In Manila, hundreds of PALEA members are expected to participate in the early evening march and torch parade from Nichols Gate 2 to the Our Lady of the Airways Parish.

Tomorrow, an indignation rally will be held at Mendiola. Some 200 PALEA members and supporters will assemble at Morayta by 10:00 a.m. On Tuesday, a labor unity press conference will be held by different groups in Quezon City to condemn the decision of the Office of the President to allow outsourcing at PAL and to express solidarity with PALEA.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

PALEA regrets P-Noy decision on PAL, prepares for a strike

PRESS RELEASE
PALEA
March 26, 2011

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) expressed frustrations over the decision rendered by the Office of the President on the outsourcing issue in PAL even as it has yet to receive an official copy of the order.

“Sinubukan naming dumaan sa sinasabing tuwid na landas ni P-Noy, yun pala ang Malacanang ay ikalawa na rin palang tahanan ni Lucio Tan,” said Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).

“We are very frustrated with P-Noy,” a furious Rivera said, virtually accusing the President and his men, specifically Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr., of conspiring with Lucio Tan in facilitating the legalization of labor contractualization in the country.

Rivera said the conspiracy was evident when PAL itself broke the news to the media even before the official announcement was made, meaning it has prior knowledge of the decision long before it was announced last Friday.

It was also this prior knowledge, Rivera cites, as the main reason why the management kept on delaying the negotiation for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with PALEA confident that P-Noy ever since was on the side of Lucio Tan.

The outsourcing plan will cause the layoff of some 2,600 regular employees of PAL and their eventual shift to contractual employment to third party service providers. The plan will eventually weaken PALEA and be profitable for PAL as contractual workers do not have job security and receive lesser benefits compared to regular workers.

“PAL wanted to negotiate with the dead PALEA and was able to convince the President and his men to lead the funeral before it sits down with zombies for a new CBA,” said Rivera.

PM chair Renato Magtubo on his part said the OP decision sends a chilling message to the labor front: that outsourcing and contractualization is not only legal but a desired labor and economic policy of the Aquino administration.

“The flag carrier should not be allowed to take pride in spreading P-Noy’s legacy of legalizing the scourge of contractualization,” said the labor leader and former partylist representative.

Preparing for a strike

PALEA is already preparing for the requirements for the strike before the OP decision came out. In the strike vote held last Wednesday, more than 70% of PALEA members came out and 95% of them voted for yes, with only 4% voting no.

“PALEA asks for the support of our fellow Filipinos and from our brothers and sisters in the labor movement. The CBA moratorium is a man-made tsunami that has ravaged on our working conditions and the planned outsourcing is another disaster awaiting PAL workers. Lucio Tan is becoming richer from the CBA moratorium and contractualization,” Rivera insisted.

A labor unity meeting convened in Quezon City this afternoon gathered militant and moderate labor groups in support of PALEA’s fight. They expressed opposition to the OP decision and full support to all future PALEA actions.

“The workers movement stands as one in solidarity with PALEA’s strike for regular jobs and labor rights. PAL is so insensitive it refuses to share its $1.6 billion profit with its workers through a CBA and for planning to layoff 2,600 employees while tens of thousands of OFW’s are returning from unrests and disasters abroad,” stated PM’s Magtubo.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

PALEA expects overwhelming yes in strike vote today

Press Release
March 23, 2011
PALEA

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) announced that the strike vote is proceeding smoothly in all Metro Manila offices and outlying stations of Philippine Airlines (PAL). “We expect an overwhelming vote for a strike from our members who have sacrificed for 13 long years without a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and whose wages, benefits and protection have stagnated as a result,” declared Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

Rivera answered PAL president Jaime Bautista’s criticism of the planned strike. “PAL is being hypocritical in criticizing a strike in the midst of evacuation of OFW’s in the Middle East, North Africa and Japan. How can PAL feign concern for the Filipinos losing their jobs abroad when it is planning to retrench 2,600 of its own employees at a time when it is expecting $1.6 billion in yearly profit? How can PAL accuse its workers of insensitivity when it is management that refuses to share the bountiful fruits of production via a CBA?” Rivera retorted.

The results of the strike vote are likely to be known tomorrow evening. Meanwhile PALEA is set to hold a torch parade tomorrow evening to push for the demand for the start of CBA negotiations. “Lucio Tan is the second richest Filipino according to Forbes with $2.3 billion in net worth. He has become wealthier because of the CBA moratorium and outsourcing,” Rivera insisted.

PALEA plans to submit the results of the strike vote to the Department of Labor and Employment on Friday before the conciliation meeting called at 9:00 a.m. On Saturday a labor unity meeting of different groups will gather in Quezon City to express continuing solidarity with PALEA’s fight for regular jobs and the right to bargain.

“Promises are unfortunately easy to make and break especially for PAL. Instead of promising to begin negotiations within two weeks, we suggest that PAL actually do so by submitting its counter-proposal to our CBA proposal that management has sat on for five months already. PAL must start negotiations without any preconditions. How can PAL negotiate in good faith when it already wants to remove provisions in the coverage of the CBA even before it has opened the bargaining process?” argued Rivera.

“We call on PAL to end the labor dispute and prevent a disruption of the evacuation flights. PAL should drop its planned mass layoff, start CBA negotiations immediately and without preconditions,” Rivera asserted.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

PALEA: Outsourcing is not an industry trend

Press Release
March 20, 2011
PALEA

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) today cited sources to rebut the claim that outsourcing is an aviation industry trend that Philippine Airlines (PAL) must follow. “The typical model in the airline industry, especially in the Asia-Pacific Region, is for major airline companies, especially flag carriers or former flag carriers, to maintain ground handling and related services in-house at domestic transportation hubs,” asserted Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and Partido ng Manggagawa vice chair.

PALEA said that this is the case in Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Bangladesh, Taiwan and Pakistan. The group explained that in Indonesia ground handling is carried out by a joint venture between Garuda, the old flag carrier, and the airports authority. While in China ground handling is typically carried out by joint ventures between airlines and airport authorities.

Rivera avowed that Malaysia Airlines provides ground-handling services to various airlines at its domestic hub. Thai Airways also maintains an in-house ground handling services at its domestic hub. “These are facts that can easily be cross checked through the websites of these airline companies,” he added.

In contrast PALEA claimed that the service providers set to take-over the functions of the regular employees do not have any demonstrable competence in providing the airline services that will be outsourced by PAL. Citing the article of journalist Raisa Robles, PALEA insisted that Manuel H. Osmeña, the alleged owner of SkyKitchen and SkyLogistics, is a long-time partner of Lucio Tan; and these corporations were only organized in 2009.

Further in India, the national Carriers Indian Airlines Ltd. and Air India Ltd., aside from two other private companies, provide ground handling services. “We have learned that in view the overall security environment, the Indian government is considering a ban on ground-handling at Indian airports by foreign airlines and Indian private companies. It is being proposed that these functions should be performed only through Indian Airlines Ltd., Air India Ltd. and Airports Authority of India or their subsidiary companies. Thus the ground handling services in India will be regulated and quality of services assured. This will also prevent mushrooming of small agencies, which pose security risk.”

‘We hope that Malacanang will not be blind to these facts in considering its decision on the legality of the planned outsourcing. We have presented these facts in a comment we submitted to the Office of the President last February 24,” Rivera ended.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

PALEA: PAL should share $1.6 billion profit with workers via CBA

Press Release
March 19, 2011
PALEA

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) insisted that the expected $1.6 billion profit of Philippine Airlines (PAL) for the fiscal year ending in March 2011 should be shared with its workers through a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). “PAL should start CBA negotiations now without any conditions. PAL employees deserve their part in the bountiful fruits of production,” asserted Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and Partido ng Manggagawa vice chair.

PALEA also announced that more mass actions are planned for the coming week since they still have not received a counter-proposal from management. In the conciliation hearing last March 14 at the Department of Labor and Employment, PAL promised to open CBA negotiations within two weeks but subject to certain conditions. “Among others, a torch parade next week by hundreds of PAL employees is in the drawing boards,” explained Rivera.

He added that “Amidst the 70th year celebration of PAL last week, Lucio Tan declared that the company’s success was as much due to the hard work of its dedicated crew. Unfortunately PAL under Lucio Tan does not match deeds with words. We cannot feed our families with press releases from PAL. Through hard work PAL workers created $1.6 billion in profit in just one year and in return PAL plans to layoff 2,600 employees. The separation package of P2 billion is a drop in the bucket compared to $1.6 billion.”

Rivera furthered that “The labor dispute remains unresolved until PAL makes good on its promise that CBA negotiations actually start.” PALEA announced that it is already preparing to hold a strike vote “both as a legal requirement of the law before it can hold a strike and as an expression of PAL employee’s determination to fight for the right to collective bargaining and security of tenure.”

“In just one year, PAL can accumulate $1.6 billion in profit despite the global crisis and in the face of oil price hikes. What is the secret? The PAL-PALEA CBA has been suspended for almost 13 years already and in that period the wages, benefits and protection of employees have stagnated. Moreover when outsourcing is implemented, labor cost savings thorough contractualization will inflate PAL’s profits even more. No wonder that Lucio Tan is the second richest Filipino in the Forbes list of billionaires. He has become richer from outsourcing and CBA moratorium,” Rivera elaborated.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hundreds of PALEA members rally for start of CBA negotiations

Press Release
March 14, 2011
PALEA

As the second conciliation conference was being held, some 300 members of the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) and Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) picketed the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) this morning and called on it to order Philippine Airlines (PAL) to start negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The last conciliation meeting was fruitless with PAL adamant in refusing to negotiate until after a decision on the outsourcing plan. Last March 7 PALEA filed a notice of strike on the basis of unfair labor practice due to PAL’s refusal to bargain.

“The DOLE must uphold the law. It must order PAL to do its legal duty to bargain with PALEA,” asserted Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and PM vice chair.

The mass action is an intensification of protests by PALEA to push for the start of CBA negotiations. More mass actions are planned in preparation for the holding of the strike to force PAL to open CBA negotiations.

PALEA is calling on its members to prepare for a strike as the means to oblige PAL to observe its duties under the law. “The notice of strike is the first of a series of steps that will lead to a strike at PAL,” Rivera announced.

“Despite the bountiful fruits of production, Lucio Tan as PAL owner refuses to share with his workers through a CBA and plans to squeeze even more profit from employees through contractualization,” declared Rivera in reaction to news that Tan is the second richest Filipino in the Forbes list of billionaires.

Rivera elaborated that “PAL’s argument that it will wait for a ruling on the outsourcing plan is an alibi for a de facto indefinite CBA moratorium. Whatever is the ruling by the Office of the President (OP) on the legality of the outsourcing plan, either the union or management will file a case at the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. This was the declaration both of PAL and PALEA in the last mediation meeting called by Malacanang. The outsourcing plan then cannot be executed pending a final judicial resolution which may take years considering the justice system.”

“The law does not provide for a plan to layoff union officers and members as a reason not to bargain. The CBA negotiation is distinct and separate from the outsourcing plan,” Rivera said in response to PAL’s position that it will only negotiate after the OP has made a ruling on the dispute regarding outsourcing.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

PALEA calls on DOLE to order PAL to start CBA negotiations

Press Release
March 9, 2011
PALEA

Some 100 members of the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) and supporters from the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) picketed the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today and called on it to order Philippine Airlines (PAL) to start negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The picket coincided with the conciliation conference called by the DOLE after it received PALEA’s notice of strike last Monday.

“The DOLE must uphold the law. PAL has a legal duty to bargain with PALEA as a sole and exclusive agent,” asserted Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and PM vice chair.

“The law does not provide for a plan to layoff union officers and members as a reason not to bargain. The CBA negotiation is distinct and separate from the outsourcing plan,” Rivera said in response to PAL’s declaration that it will only negotiate after the Office of the President (OP) has made a ruling on the dispute regarding outsourcing.

PALEA is accusing PAL of wanting a new moratorium on the CBA. “Whatever is the ruling by the OP on the legality of the outsourcing plan, either the union or management will file a case at the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. This was the declaration both of PAL and PALEA in the last mediation meeting called by Malacanang. This means the outsourcing plan cannot be executed pending a final judicial resolution which may take years considering the justice system. In effect PAL wants another CBA moratorium of indefinite period if it will only negotiate after it gets a go signal on the outsourcing and layoff,” argued Rivera.

“PAL is being greedy for refusing to share the bountiful fruits of production to its workers via a CBA,” Rivera insisted. From a $15.1 million third quarter profit on its latest fiscal year, PAL’s first quarter profit was $31.6 million and second quarter profit was $28.2 million for a total net income of $74.9 million. PAL also paid a loan in the amount of $46.5 million in June 2010.

“A de facto indefinite CBA moratorium is worse than the earlier 10-year suspension,” Rivera declared. In 1998 the PAL-PALEA CBA was put on moratorium as a condition for the reopening of the flag carrier and as requirement for its rehabilitation.

He added that “PAL’s reasoning reveals its intention of using the OP to delay indefinitely the CBA negotiations. The outsourcing and layoff plan is thus not only a scheme for contractualization but also a scam for a CBA moratorium.”

PALEA is calling on its members to prepare for a strike as the instrument of last resort to oblige PAL to observe its duties under the law. “The notice of strike is the first of a series of steps that will lead to a strike at PAL. We will of course observe the 15-day cooling off period and the conciliation meetings to be called by the DOLE,” Rivera announced.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

PALEA: PAL wants new indefinite CBA moratorium

Press Release
March 8, 2011
PALEA

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) accused Philippine Airlines (PAL) of wanting a new moratorium on the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). This was PALEA’s response to PAL’s argument that it will only start CBA negotiations after a decision on its planned outsourcing has been rendered by the Office of the President (OP).

“Whatever is the ruling by the OP on the legality of the outsourcing plan, either the union or management will file a case at the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. This was the declaration both of PAL and PALEA in the last mediation meeting called by Malacanang. The outsourcing plan then cannot be executed pending a final judicial resolution which may take years considering the justice system. In effect PAL wants another CBA moratorium of indefinite period if it will only negotiate after it gets a go signal on the outsourcing and layoff,” argued Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa (PM).

“A de facto indefinite CBA moratorium is worse than the earlier 10-year suspension,” Rivera declared. In 1998 the PAL-PALEA CBA was put on moratorium as a condition for the reopening of the flag carrier and as requirement for its rehabilitation.

He added that “PAL reasoning reveals its intention of using the OP to delay indefinitely the CBA negotiations. The outsourcing and layoff plan is thus not only a scheme for contractualization but also a scam for a CBA moratorium.”

PALEA is insisting that the CBA negotiation is distinct and separate from the outsourcing plan. “The law does not provide for a plan to layoff union officers and members as a legitimate reason not to bargain. An employer has a legal duty to bargain with a certified sole and exclusive agent such as PALEA,” Rivera elaborated.

PALEA is calling on its members to prepare for a strike as the instrument of last resort to oblige PAL to observe its duties under the law. “The notice of strike is the first of a series of steps that will lead to a strike at PAL. We will of course observe the 15-day cooling off period and the conciliation meetings to be called by the Department of Labor and Employment,” Rivera announced.

The militant PM meanwhile declared its support for PALEA’s fight for a new CBA and its preparation for a strike. “The labor movement stands united behind PALEA’s struggle not just for security of tenure but the right to collective bargaining. It is in the interest of all workers that PAL employees enjoy regular jobs and the protection of a CBA,” stated Renato Magtubo, PM chair.

Monday, March 7, 2011

PALEA files notice of strike anew on PAL’s refusal to bargain

Press Release
March 7, 2011
PALEA

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) today filed another notice of strike (NOS) on the basis of unfair labor practice as Philippine Airlines (PAL) refuses to bargain with the ground crew union. At 10:35 a.m. PALEA’s NOS was submitted to the Department of Labor and Employment and was docketed as NCMB NCR 03-018-11.

“It has been six months since PALEA submitted its collective bargaining agreement (CBA) proposal to PAL. Moreover it has been 12 years since the CBA moratorium that should have lasted only ten years. PAL’s workers have suffered all through that time as we have not been able to improve our wages, benefits and working conditions. Management is engaging in unfair labor practice for refusing to bargain with PALEA as the sole and exclusive bargaining agent,” declared Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

In October 8, 2010 PALEA submitted its CBA proposal to management which was received by no less than PAL President Jaime Bautista. It was in 1998 when the PAL-PALEA CBA was put on moratorium as a condition for the reopening of the flag carrier and as requirement for its rehabilitation. PAL however successfully got out of rehabilitation in 2007 ahead of schedule.

“PAL is evidently guilty of bad faith for backtracking on the talks for a new CBA. As late as January 27, PAL President Jimmy Bautista asked in a labor-management consultative council meeting that PALEA submits its panel of negotiators for the CBA talks, which we promptly did on January 31. But then PAL made an abrupt turnaround and in a February 16 letter to PALEA, announced that they will only start CBA negotiations after they implement the outsourcing plan which remains suspended as per the assumption of jurisdiction by the Office of the President,” Rivera explained.

He argued that “PAL however cannot arbitrarily refuse to bargain with PALEA now and insist that it will only hold CBA negotiations later. The CBA negotiations and the assailed outsourcing plan and are two separate issues. PAL has a duty to bargain as provided for in the Labor Code and it is illegal to refuse to because of an impending plan to layoff union officers and members. The right to collective bargaining is moreover enshrined in the Constitution and protected by the International Labor Organization’s Convention 98.”

Further PALEA slammed PAL’s refusal to bargain and intransigence on the outsourcing plan as “immoral and greedy” given the company’s profitability. Aside from a $15.1 million third quarter profit on its latest fiscal year, PAL’s first quarter profit was $31.6 million and second quarter profit was $28.2 million for a total net income of $74.9 million. PAL also paid a loan in the amount of $46.5 million in June 2010.

The union is pushing for collective bargaining negotiations to begin immediately and an end to the 12-year moratorium of the collective bargaining agreement. PALEA renewed mass actions with a prayer rally last February 9 with the theme “Stop mass layoff, Start CBA negotiations.” Some 200 PALEA members and a delegation of supporters from PM marched from the PAL Nichols gate to the Our Lady of the Airways Parish for a mass. ###

Friday, December 10, 2010

86% of PALEA members favor strike

Press Release
December 10, 2010
PALEA

The Philippine Airline Employees’ Association (PALEA) released the final results of the strike vote yesterday afternoon after the union’s comelec finished canvassing the ballots. Some 86% of the total votes cast were in favor of a strike and a substantial majority of the total PALEA membership of 2,600 participated in the strike vote.

“Today is International Human Rights Day and the resounding vote for a strike is a democratic expression of PAL employees’ resolve to fight for their job security. Labor rights are after all human rights. The 86% vote is overwhelmingly given the fact that we had just 24 hours to inform members of thee holding of the strike ballot,” stated Gerry Rivera, PALEA president and Partido ng Manggagawa vice chair.

Rivera explained that the successful strike vote conducted among its members brings the union closer to holding an actual strike. According to the Labor Code, before any legal strike can proceed a notice of strike must be filed and then a strike vote conducted in which a simple majority of members must agree. He added that all that remains now is for PALEA to file the results of the strike vote at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), which has jurisdiction of the dispute, and then wait for the lapse of the mandated seven-day notification or cooling off period.

“We understand that a strike at Philippine Airlines (PAL) may inconvenience the public. But we also believe that the vast majority of the public are workers and their families who will benefit from PALEA’s fight for job security and labor rights,” Rivera insisted.

The strike vote was announced to PALEA members last Monday just after a notice was filed at the NCMB. The actual strike vote was conducted the whole day of December 7. The union’s comelec then waited for all the ballot boxes to arrive from the provincial airports before it tabulated the results in PALEA’s office in Paranaque yesterday.

Meanwhile PALEA answered the arguments of the PAL management that the strike vote is illegal since there is no labor dispute pending. “The strike vote stems from the labor dispute docketed as NCMB-NCR NS-11-128-10. That dispute has not been resolved nor been assumed,” Rivera asserted.

He reiterated the clarification that the issue pending at the Office of the President is PAL’s outsourcing plan which has been affirmed by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz while the strike vote arose from a separate though related complaint of individual bargaining by PAL management which constitutes unfair labor practice and union busting.

Further PALEA welcomed the consolidated security of tenure bill that was approved by the House Labor Committee at a hearing last Wednesday. “There will be many more PALEAs if capitalists are allowed to use the loopholes of the law on subcontracting to bust unions, cheapen wages, worsen working conditions and demolish workers rights,” Rivera ended.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

PM and PALEA welcome security of tenure bill

Press Release
December 9, 2010

The militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) welcomed the consolidated security of tenure bill that was approved by the House Labor Committee (LaborCom) at a hearing yesterday at the Batasang Pambansa. “The security of tenure bill is a remedial measure, although not a lasting solution, that can curb the wanton proliferation of contractualization schemes and scams by capitalists,” stated Renato Magtubo, PM chair.

Gerry Rivera, PM vice chair and president of the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA), spoke at the LaborCom hearing and lobbied for a bill to strengthen job security in the face of labor unrest provoked by rampant outsourcing, subcontracting and casualization moves by employers. “There will be many more PALEAs if capitalists are allowed to use the loopholes of the law on subcontracting to bust unions, cheapen wages, worsen working conditions and demolish workers rights,” he said.

Rivera also announced at the LaborCom hearing that the successful strike vote conducted among its members brings the union closer to holding an actual strike. Nonetheless he also clarified that PALEA will respect the 7-day cooling period once the final results are reported to the National Conciliation and Mediation Board. “We recognize that a strike at Philippine Airlines (PAL) may inconvenience the public. But we also know that the vast majority of the public are workers and their families who will benefit from PALEA’s fight for job security and labor rights,” Rivera insisted.

Rivera also countered PAL and the Labor Department’s positions that the strike vote is illegal since there is no labor dispute pending. “The strike vote stems from the labor dispute docketed as NCMB-NCR NS-11-128-10. That dispute has not been resolved nor been assumed,” he explained.

The consolidated security of tenure bill provides for stricter rules on allowable contracting arrangements, a cap of 20% on the number of contractuals vis-à-vis the total workforce and heavier penalties on violations.

Rivera added that “The fight for job security is now beyond PALEA. The passage of the security of tenure bill will be the focus of the working class movement’s campaign for regular jobs and against labor contractualization.”

Magtubo revealed that they will push the Senate Labor Committee for a counterpart bill even as the House version moves for plenary discussion. “The fight for the security of tenure bill has just started. The House Rules Committee will have to be convinced into putting on the calendar this proposed legislation for the plenary. If necessary the labor movement will mobilize again ala the November 25 rally in Ayala to push Congress along,” he emphasized.

“The new year will be happy for the workers if the security of tenure bill becomes a law. We call on our brothers and sisters in the labor movement to once again set aside differences and unite in the fight for the passage of the security of tenure bill,” Rivera asserted.