As the controversy over the mass resignation of Philippine Airlines’ pilots since last Saturday rages on, labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno called on President Aquino to investigate PAL owner Lucio Tan’s profits and anti-labor schemes, saying labor issues are behind the recent imbroglio in the national flag carrier.
KMU made the call in a picket in front of PAL’s corporate office in Ayala Avenue this morning, where the labor center condemned the business tycoon for “intensifying the exploitation and causing the lay-off of workers” in the airline company.
Attending the picket were members of the PAL Employees’ Union or Palea, the union of PAL’s ground employees, the Laban ng Bagong Palea, KMU, and Anakpawis partylist.
“The PAL management continues to bombard us with Lucio Tan’s canard that the pilots who resigned were merely motivated by personal interests. If there is a party to this issue that has consistently advanced nothing but his personal interests, that is Lucio Tan,” said Roger Soluta, KMU general secretary.
“We are therefore calling on the Aquino regime: investigate and expose Tan’s profiteering and anti-labor schemes. Not only will this get us to the bottom of the pilots’ resignation, more importantly, this will be a first step in improving the worsening lot of PAL workers,” Soluta added.
The labor center said the investigation that it is calling for will force open “no less than a can of worms” that will expose the PAL management’s statements “for what they really are – lies in the service of superprofits.”
“Accusations that the pilots were thinking only of their own interests when they resigned will be refuted by no less than a can of worms of anti-labor schemes: increases in workloads and decreases in wages, illegal termination, moratorium in CBA negotiations, promotion of contractualization, use of dummy corporations, among others,” Soluta added.
“In various venues, and especially during negotiations for collective bargaining agreements, the PAL management is often heard whining about decreasing profits and the possibility of closing down. How could that be, when Lucio Tan continues to be the second richest Filipino with a net profit of P90 billion? When PAL continues to be the top carrier in the country, handling 35% of international flights?”
Soluta said investigating Tan’s profits and labor practices will yield “instructive insights” into the country’s labor laws and policies.
“We will definitely be shocked by how much of what Tan does in PAL and his other companies are illegal. But we will also be shocked by how much of his profiteering and anti-labor schemes are made legal, sanctioned by the country’s anti-worker labor laws and policies,” Soluta concluded.