TFDP Statement of Support for PALEA
We, delegates and participants of the 16th National General Assembly of the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP), in renewing our commitment to human rights (HR), particularly to its universality, as originally conceived in its establishment in 1974 by the Association of the Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), unequivocably support the struggle of the Philippine Air Lines Employees Association (PALEA) for their right to full human development and a quality of life worthy of their dignity.
PAL’s plan to terminate more than 2,600 employees affecting three departments, which PAL labels as “non-core”, was based on the pretext of that “It was motivated by a pressing need to prevent further financial drain and thus, save PAL from eventual collapse.” And that such a move“is necessary for to this very day, PAL’s economic downturn continues to threaten its survival.”
But this is belied by the fact that PAL earned a total comprehensive income of US$ 72.5 MILLION (net income of US$65.5 Million plus other income) for the fiscal year which ended on March 31, 2011.
According to the company’s Financial Statement itself, this is “a significant turnaround from the previous fiscal year’s total comprehensive loss of US$ 14.4 million.” Converted to Philippine Pesos, PAL’s income amounted to MORE THAN PhP 3 BILLION (computed at $1: PhP 42.50).
It is unfortunate that the owners and management of the Philippine Air Lines (PAL) have chosen to forget that their company’s growth was also brought about by the sacrifices, labor and dedication of the workers. At the real downturn of PAL’s financial capabilities, PALEA suspended its right to a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) since 1998. PAL’s employees contributed not in a small manner in its corporate recovery, global expansion and competitiveness. They are co-creators of the wealth of the company. Thus, not only should the quality of life of workers rightfully and proportionately improve as the company develops and grows – this is a collective aspect of the right to development. More important, they should be integral to the company itself. The owners and management’s decision to outsource as part of its over-all contractualization plan is to deceptively cut off its co-creators of corporate wealth under the false basis of “financial losses”. They have disjointed themselves from the same humanity as their workers so as to accrue profits primarily for themselves.
The justification of the Secretary of Labor and the Office of the President for termination of more than 2, 600 regular employees sadly stamps officially PAL, the flag carrier, to internationally advertise that in our country “Profit Assaults Labor”.
We uncompromisingly stand for people first over profit, labor over capital.