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PALEA to hold strike vote today

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The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (Palea) will hold a strike vote today to support its planned work stoppage amid the flag-carrier's plans to outsource its three units and lay off thousands of its employees.

The Labor and Employment’s National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) received Palea's notice of strike vote on Monday.

“The strike vote is compliance with the requirements of the law. If management does not desist from harassing Palea members to avail of the separation offer which is tantamount to individual bargaining and therefore illegal then we will be forced to actually hold the strike,” Gerry Rivera, Palea president and vice chairman of the militant Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) said.

He said some 3,700 Palea members from all PAL offices in Manila, Cebu and Davao, including 14 cities nationwide will participate in Tuesday's strike vote.
He also assured the orderly conduct of the strike vote.

The notice was served by Palea to the office of NCMB executive director Reynaldo Ubaldo with a copy furnished to the Office of the Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

“Management continues to violate its own promise during the mediation last November 8 that PAL managers will refrain from discussing the issues with Palea members,” he said.

"We don’t make strike threats. We just do it when needed. That is why we are preparing the requirements for a strike which will happen at the appropriate time. A majority support of members assessed via a strike vote is necessary to hold a legal strike,” Rivera said.

The strike vote, he said, does not constitute a transgression of the mediation efforts of the Office of the President (OP).

“We are not blackmailing Malacanang to favor our position but we are warning management for its illegal acts. It was Palea that asked for the intervention of President Benigno S. Aquino III into the PAL-Palea dispute and so it is illogical that we will sabotage it. The issue pending at the OP is separate though related to the case from which proceeds the strike vote,” he said.

Rivera urged Palea members “to vote yes in the strike vote in order to defend our jobs and secure our future. Those who have their day off tomorrow should go to work to register their vote and express their sentiments.”

By Mediatrix P. Cristobal-PNA




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