First mediation talk on PAL row fails-A A +A
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
THE first of the series of mediation hearings Tuesday between the Philippine Airlines (PAL) management and its flights attendants union failed as the workers insisted on conducting a strike in October.
In an interview, Andy Ortega, vice president of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (Fasap), said the meeting did not produce any concrete solutions on the labor dispute.
“The position of PAL, as of today (Tuesday), it is the same kung ano yung position nila nung nakaraan,” related Ortega.
“Yung nangyari today proves na hindi gumagalaw. It is another confirmation on the attitude of PAL,” he said, insisting their planned strike by the end of October.
Among the demands of the group are the financial and economic benefits of its workers, the retirement age of 60 for its flight crews and the pregnancy clause among women workers that they said discriminatory.
"It is only the flight attendants who are being made to retire at an unreasonable age of 40," the group said.
The meeting was mediated by Director Reynaldo Ubaldo of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB).
PAL president Jaime Bautista also attended the meeting while labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz was represented by Labor Attaché Leopoldo de Jesus.
Ortega added that the next meeting, which is scheduled on Friday (September 17), will be crucial since it would test the willingness of PAL to settle the rift.
The dispute is still in its 30-day cooling off period after the group filed their notice of strike last week.
The management earlier said the filing of the notice of strike was "ill-timed since it might scare away tourists and cause further damage to the flag carrier’s fragile finances."
But PAL assured its passengers that its operations remain normal and all flights will not be disrupted. (FP/sunnex)