Action day for Filipino aviation workers

September 26, 2012

The struggle of more than 2,300 union members in the Philippines who were sacked will be marked by a day of action tomorrow.

The one-year anniversary of the dismissal of Philippines Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) members approaches on 27 September; their jobs were outsourced by their employer Philippines Airlines (PAL).

The ITF has been running an active campaign since 2010 to support the PALEA workers but the stalemate continues; PAL management has continuously failed to communicate with the union leadership despite several letters to the company’s president and other offices.

Since their dismissal, members have set up a protest camp outside PAL’s inflight centre. According to PALEA, more than 300 workers who participated in a protest on 27 September 2011 and those who defended the camp against violence on 29 October 2011, still fear arrest by police as a result of bogus criminal cases filed by PAL management.

Following a resolution at the ITF Asia-Pacific civil aviation section meeting on 19-20 July in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, delegates decided to carry out a day of action in support of PALEA. Tomorrow, unionists from the region will organise a range of actions, including: staging protests at PAL offices; leafleting passengers; submitting letters of protest to the Philippines embassies and consulates, among others.

In a letter to aviation affiliates in the region, Mahendra Sharma, Asia-Pacific regional secretary, said that PALEA itself would hold a street march to the PALEA protest camp. “Several labour organisations in Philippines have already endorsed their participation,” he said.

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