Union delegation backs Philippine aviation workers

January 27, 2011

L-R: Francois Ballestero, ETF civil aviation political secretary, Eduardo Chagas, ETF general secretary, Enrique A Manalo, Philippine ambassador and Marichu Mauro, minister and consul general

A delegation from the the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the ITF’s European arm, visited the Philippine embassy in Belgium this week in support of aviation workers in the Philippines who are facing mass dismissal.

ETF general secretary Eduardo Chagas and ETF political secretary for civil aviation François Ballestero visited the embassy in Brussels on 24 January to raise concerns regarding plans by Philippine Airlines to contract out work performed by permanent employees, putting some 2,600 jobs at risk. The ITF-affiliated union Philippine Airline Employees’ Association (PALEA), which represents the workers, has been in dispute with the company over the issue since last July. Last December, Benigno Aquino, the Philippine president, issued an order taking over the jurisdiction of a petition by PALEA against mass dismissals at the airline.

The Philippine ambassador, Enrique A Manalo, informed the ETF that he was aware of the situation and expressed his hope that both parties would reach an acceptable solution. Manalo also promised to pass on a letter from the ETF to President Aquino, the department of foreign affairs and the department of labour and employment. Manalo and the ETF agreed to keep each other informed on new developments in the dispute.

The ETF letter welcomes the president’s intervention in the dispute and urges him “to live up to your commitments and to ensure that these workers are treated with the respect and consideration that they deserve by finding an acceptable resolution that protects their jobs, instead of abandoning them and their families to an uncertain future.”

Go to article in the ITF website

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