Saturday, 26 March 2011 15:14
The management of Philippine Airlines (PAL) reiterated that the gathering of strike votes by the PAL Employees Association (PALEA) has no legal basis.
PAL cited the following grounds in questioning the strike vote:
• During the March 14, 2011 NCMB conciliation hearing, PAL President Jaime Bautista manifested management's willingness to resume CBA talks with the ground workers' union provided the spin-off issue -- which is still pending in Malacanang -- is not discussed;
• In the same hearing, PAL officials expressed willingness to name its members in the negotiating panel;
• PAL officials announced that the counter -proposal to the CBA will be submitted on or before March 28, 2011; and
• There is no deadlock in conciliation talks and in fact, there is another scheduled hearing at the NCMB on Friday, March 25, 2011.
PAL asserted that these developments show that the airline is "not engaging in unfair labor practice."
It cautioned the union that any work stoppage is a clear indication of bad faith and will be "dealt with severely."
Earlier, Bautista said including the spin-off as part of the CBA agenda is unacceptable since the merits of the case are still being tackled before the Office of the President.
Reacting to PALEA's stance that the spin-off issue be discussed within the context of CBA talks, Bautista said this position is "bereft of logic".
"How can the spin-off issue be discussed in the CBA when the case is still within the purview of the Palace? As petitioners themselves, shouldn't PALEA wait for the results, instead of thinking of transferring the case to yet another forum?"
As this developed, PAL assured the riding public that a strike vote does not mean an immediate work stoppage. "While the process is ongoing, it's business as usual," Bautista said.
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