Bishop backs PAL workers’ strike

Posted By: Chris Costuya On:

MANILA, April 4, 2011— An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines supports a labor strike by Philippine Airlines union members against a Malacañang ruling allowing the local carrier to push through with its outsourcing plans.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, said holding a strike is the only viable option left for the workers at this time.

He said if PAL pushes through with labor contractualization and outsourcing, it would send a wrong signal to the country’s labor force.

“It will not be a good precedence not only for PAL, but also to other companies in the Philippines,” Pabillo said over Radyo Veritas Monday.

The prelate said the government should protect the rights of the workers so that they will not be forced to leave the country and find better jobs abroad.

He called on the people to rally behind the PAL Employees’ Association (Palea) members planned labor strike to make sure their rights are protected.

“As a Church, we should be aware of the situation of our workers and support them. It’s clear in the teachings of the church that labor has priority over capital,” said Pabillo.

PAL management has long been planning a spin-off of its non-core units and lay off some 2,600 workers.

PALEA already held a protest rally at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 last Friday as a prelude for the actual strike any time soon.

The strike is aimed at paralyzing the operations of PAL.

President Aquino earlier said that the plan is valid and that “PAL could not be held liable for unfair labor practice for pursuing a legitimate exercise of management prerogative”.

Pabillo said the government should realize that laborers are not mere commodities that should be subjected to cheap labor. (CBCPNews)


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