Union blames PAL for work stoppage

by Ira Pedrasa, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Sep 29 2011 02:41 PM | Updated as of Sep 30 2011 03:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) said members should not be blamed for the stalled operations of Philippine Airlines on Tuesday that aggravated the riding public.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News’ Punto por Punto, PALEA secretary general Bong Palad said management decoded the access of employees, which hampered them from doing their jobs.

He said the employees were indeed protesting the looming full outsourcing of ground services, but they did not intend to stop work on Tuesday as was claimed by the flag carrier. The supposed strike, which coincided with the onslaught of Pedring, caused tempers to fly as seen on national television.

“Kinaladkad ang mga empleyado palabas, nakita naman yun. It was not a walkout,” Palad said. This can be proven by an earlier memorandum from PAL management that they were all out of jobs by September 27.

Palad said a new memorandum was subsequently released, which now terminates their services by September 30.

In the same program, PAL President Jaime Bautista confirmed that the full outsourcing will become effective on October 1. As directed by the Department of Labor and Employment, the employees will be given their separation pays or absorbed by the contracting agencies.

Bautista denied the firm “decoded” the access of the employees. “Nung umaga ng illegal strike, basta na lang sila tumigil. Nagkaroon ng mahabang pila. Nakikiusap kami, pero nakaupo lang sila duon.”

He said the firm lost $8 million to $10 million from the cancellation of more than 200 flights.

He said the firm is still studying the charges that will be filed against the employees.