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PAL ready for ‘worst case scenario’

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Philippine Airlines (PAL) assured its passengers that the national flag carrier is ready for a ‘worst case scenario’ of an actual work stoppage.

In a statement, the company said it is ready to implement contingency measures to minimize flight disruptions and avoid passenger inconvenience in case a threatened walkout by its ground workers pushes through.

“Many PAL administrative employees, and even union members themselves, believe that a strike will not do the company any good. As such, they are ready to man posts to be vacated by protesting workers,” PAL president and COO Jaime J. Bautista said.

“We apologize to our passengers for whatever anxiety and inconvenience threats of work stoppage have spawned. Rest assured we are doing everything we can to ensure that your flights will proceed as scheduled,” he added.

Bautista said PAL continues to appeal to its workers to respect and remain within the legal conciliation process. “But make no mistake, PAL is also ready to exercise its legal options in case any work stoppage is declared illegal by proper authorities,” he stressed.

Bautista explained that the planned strike has no legal basis. “First, it’s not true that management refuses to convene negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement as claimed by the PAL Employees Association (PALEA). Second, the union’s claim that there is no justifiable reasons for the spin-off of three units – Airport Services, In-flight Catering and Call Center Reservations –  likewise have no leg to stand on,” he stressed.

Bautista explained that PAL submitted its counter proposal to the collective bargaining agreement last March 28 at the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB). “This is the best proof that PAL is willing to negotiate with its union. Meanwhile, the planned spin-off which was recently upheld by the Office of the President, is not the subject of any notice of strike as this has just been recently resolved by Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa,” he added.

PAL’s spin-off plan was thrice upheld as legal and valid by the labor secretaries of the past and present administrations. Last March 25, the Office of the President likewise upheld PAL’s right to spin off its three units to third party service providers.




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