Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So what’s wrong with having ‘flying moms’?

So what’s wrong with having “flying mothers” or even “grandmothers?”

Gabriela partylist Representative Luz Ilagan said flight attendants of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) should be allowed to work as long as they are physically and medically fit to do so.

Ilagan and fellow partylist Representative Emmi de Jesus said the mandatory retirement age for flight and cabin attendants imposed by the PAL management is discriminatory.

Under the existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA), male and female flight attendants hired before November 1996 would be retired when they reach the age of 60 and 55, respectively. For those hired from 1996 and beyond the mandatory retirement age is 45 for both males and females. Those hired after November 2000, on the other hand, will be retired by the age of 40, according to the PAL website.

The provision is one of the issues being contested by members of the PAL Employees Association (PALEA) and the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines.

Of the 1,600 flight attendants of PAL, about two-thirds are women, the lawmakers said.

“If you go on international flights, including the United States, you will see that a number of flight attendants are maybe above 30 years old. But they are very capable and dependable,” Ilagan said.

“There’s really nothing wrong in keeping them in flights as long as their physical and medical condition says they are fit to work,” she added.

In a separate statement, De Jesus said the PAL policy was “sexist” and “ageist.”

“When a woman in her thirties is forced to decide not to have a baby for fear that she cannot afford her child’s basic needs for food, clothing and shelter when she reaches her 40th birthday, that is tantamount to a violation of her reproductive rights,” De Jesus said.

At the House of Representatives, Anakpawis partylist Representative Rafael Mariano organized a dialogue with PALEA members pressing for renegotiation of their CBA with the management.

The Department of Labor will also hold a dialogue with the union on August 12 to discuss their CBA.

“Instead of siding with the PAL management, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Malacañang must punish PAL to decisively correct the company’s ‘incorrigible treatment’ of its employees,” Mariano said.

The lawmaker said that the employees will be left without any option but to go on strike if the “unfair labor practice” is not addressed.

Posted via email from Aviation Professionals dot Org

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