The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) yesterday submitted a manifestation to the Court of Appeals (CA) expressing its willingness to participate in mediation to seek a settlement to the labor dispute. “The new management of Philippine Airlines (PAL) should recognize that the solution to the flag carrier’s woes involves not only need a refleeting of its aging aircraft but more so the reinstatement of its skilled regular workers,” declared Gerry Rivera, PALEA president.
The CA Tenth Division in a resolution dated March 27, 2012, asked the parties to the case docketed as CA G.R. SP No. 120977, if they are willing to have the issue referred to the Philippine Mediation Center-Court of Appeals for “a final opportunity to explore the possibility of coming up with an amicable settlement of their dispute.” The parties were given 10 days from receipt of the resolution to file their manifestations.
Rivera explained that “PALEA considers the CA’s mediation offer as an opening to end the labor row which could not happened without the perseverance in protest by some 2,000 of our members for more than six months and in the face of three typhoons, two attacks on its campout and spending the Christmas holidays at the picketlines. The CA resolution further spurs us to continue the protest actions until we have finally won our demands.”
In the coming Labor Day celebrations, among the issues to be raised is the recall of retrenched PALEA members in particular and the protection of job security in general. Meanwhile a leader of the Qantas engineers union is on a solidarity visit and has spoken at the PALEA protest camp in the last few days about concrete support in the fight against outsourcing. The visit follows a two-week solidarity tour of Australia by the PALEA vice president and an officer of Partido ng Manggagawa to solicit moral and material support for PALEA.
Rivera is also scheduled to go on another two-week tour this time of the United States. He will attend a May Day forum in Washington DC and then proceed to Chicago, San Francisco and Honolulu to meet labor unions and Filipino-American groups about PALEA’s struggle.