Australian unions show solidarity with PALEA

May 3, 2013

In an act of global solidarity with workers locked out of Philippine Airlines since September 2011, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) and ITF’s Sydney office leafleted the company’s passengers at Sydney Airport on 16 April.

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) has been fighting a Philippine Airline (PAL) outsourcing plan that saw 2,400 check-in, baggage,catering and technical workers  sacked.  Workers were told to reapply for their former jobs at half the rate of pay or less, with no job security and no union protection. Peaceful pickets and an 18-month long encampment were met by PAL and the Philippine government with the forcible eviction and arrest of the locked out workers.
The union activists and families of the locked out workers handing out flyers at Sydney Airport reported a positive response from the Manila-bound passengers and PAL cabin crew. MUA national secretary and ITF president Paddy Crumlin described the effort from the ITF unions as a necessary display of global solidarity.
“We have a responsibility to get on the front foot against the war on workers,” he commented. “It is important that all transport workers, and in fact all trade unions, make sure that there is an international network to support these workers and stop others becoming victims. We need to display our solidarity and communicate our determination to go the distancewith those workers.”
Negotiations between PAL and PALEA continue.

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