The Philippines is currently in the midst of an important labor struggle as the Philippine Airlines (PAL) has recently decided to “spin-off” or convert about 2,600 regular jobs into contractual jobs with no security of tenure or benefits. This plan of PAL entails firing these regular workers and rehiring them as contractual workers. What this means is that around 2,600 employees (unionized workers) have to swallow the reality of contractualization.
For many PAL employees who have served their company for many years (some of them for 20 years) this means accepting a huge pay cut, loss of benefits, and lack of security in their line of work should they decide the plan of being “fired” and then rehired as contractual labor.
Because of this atrocity against their rights, the workers, through their union Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) have decided to oppose this plan by refusing to be rehired as mere contractual stripped of their rights even if it means losing their source of income. The reality is this struggle of PALEA is also the struggle of every Filipino worker for security of tenure. Should this plan be decided as valid and legal, this will mean further erosion of their rights. This will set the labor movement back by a few years. We in Akbayan Youth cannot allow this assault to unfold before our eyes.
We are therefore reaching out to our friends and comrades abroad to join us and show support to workers of PAL, specifically PALEA who have continued their fight despite the plan having taken effect in October 1, 2011 and despite it still being questioned before the courts.
We hope your organizations, especially the unions and workers’ organizations you work with can release their respective statements supporting the striking workers and that people should refrain from riding PAL given that: 1. The workers who have replaced the workers are inexperienced and therefore risk the safety of passengers, and 2. That this travesty must be made right by PAL immediately.
We are looking forward to your support and solidarity with us for our fellow workers’ struggle against the inhumane anti-labor PAL management and contractualization.
Cheanne, Akbayan Youth
Secretary-General, AKBAYAN Youth
36-B Madasalin Street, Sikatuna Village Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, 1101