Gov’t to blame for PAL mediation talks’ collapse

Press Statement
06 September 2010

October 3 – Department of Labor and Employment secretary Rosalinda Baldoz announces that the government will assume jurisdiction over the labor dispute in the Philippine Airlines should mediation talks fail. (Assumption of jurisdiction will in effect make any strike illegal.)

October 4 – PAL management spokesperson Cielo Villaluna expresses support for the DOLE secretary’s assumption of jurisdiction over the labor dispute in PAL.

October 5 – PAL mediation talks collapse.

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In deciding to assume jurisdiction over the labor dispute in PAL, and especially in eagerly announcing this decision ahead of the mediation talks, the Aquino government is directly responsible for the talks’ collapse.

By making this decision and announcing this decision, the Aquino government has undermined the flight attendants’ impending strike and threat of strike and has therefore seriously impaired their bargaining strength in the mediation talks.

The Aquino government has sent a clear message that it is standing by Lucio Tan’s anti-worker and anti-women policies of banning pregnancy and implementing early retirement among PAL’s flight attendants.

The PAL management is trying to deceive the public in saying that the flight attendants are using “arm-twisting tactics” and that they are the “unreasonable party” in the dispute for refusing to give up their just demand that Lucio Tan’s notorious anti-worker and anti-women policies be scrapped.

The Aquino government’s actions are bad news for PAL’s ground employees who are also planning of going on strike over Lucio Tan’s planned outsourcing of several of PAL’s functions – which will result in the layoff of more than 1,200 employees.

The Aquino government’s moves in relation to the PAL labor dispute only shows that this government, like its predecessor, considers as its “boss” not the Filipino workers and people but foreign monopoly firms and big local capitalists like Lucio Tan. (

Elmer “Bong” Labog
KMU chairperson

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