OFFICIALS of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) on Tuesday appealed to the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (Fasap) to spare the public from the inconvenience of its planned strike.
“Let’s find a peaceful solution to our internal problems for the sake of the flying public,” PAL president and chief operating officer Jaime Bautista said, as he urged members of Fasap to reconsider its threat of filing a notice of strike. He said negotiations are still ongoing before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board where Fasap members could ventilate their grievances instead of threatening to go on strike.
The next meeting between PAL management and Fasap officers is scheduled on August 17 before the NCMB.
No returnees among pilots
Meanwhile, no one among the 26 pilots who left PAL returned to work after the seven-day deadline imposed by management lapsed on Monday.
“It’s apparent that these pilots already have commitments abroad and opted not to return,” Bautista said.
The PAL management is taking steps to sanction the pilots.
The resigned pilots have been served “notices,” to which they were given the opportunity to respond.
“Right now, the administrative process is taking its course. But even while this is ongoing, our legal department is studying what cases will be filed in the coming days,” Bautista stressed.
Palace hands off for now
This occurred as Malacañang said on Tuesday it sees no compelling reason, as of yet, for the government to get involved in PAL’s labor problems but reiterated that it has available options should the situation deteriorate.
“Right now, as we said previously, we’re just going to monitor the dialogues. We’re hoping still that there will be a resolution,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda replied when asked to comment on any possible government intervention in the PAL row.
He said, “The law provides for the intervention of the government when it involves national interest, but at this point, it is too early to say.”
Lacierda said the government would have to “wait for the action” of Fasap, which had said that it would push through with a planned strike despite the P80-million package offered by PAL management.
“Right now, the situation in Fasap is that the mediation talks have bogged down. Their next course of action, I understand, is to go through a strike vote and to file their notice of strike. Until such time, we would be doing informal talks,” he said.
House inquiry sought
Akbayan Party-list Reps. Walden Bello and Kaka Bag-ao are set to file a resolution asking the Committee on Labor and Employment of the House of Representatives to conduct an immediate investigation on the alleged bad faith by the PAL management in its ongoing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations with the employees, particularly with Fasap.
The resolution, Bello said, also seeks to look into the flag carrier’s alleged discrimination against its female flight attendants, reported noncompliance with the prevailing minimum wage, failure to observe certain labor standards, and the reported violations it committed under existing PAL-Fasap CBA agreement.
Members of PAL’s 1,600-strong flight cabin crew are now gearing up for what is touted to be their biggest strike to protest the alleged “bad faith” by management in its dealings with employees.
At a joint press conference organized by Fasap and Akbayan in Quezon City Tuesday, Fasap president Robert Anduiza said the group is “consulting” its members on the launch date of the strike.“It could be any time soon,” he said