A SENIOR official of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) asked President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to intervene in a dispute over plans by the country’s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL), to restructure program that could affect thousands of workers.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said: “We ask the President to resolve this issue especially for new Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz to look into the matter.”

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

The dispute cropped up after the Department of Labor and Employment allowed the airline management to outsource its critical operations, resulting in the possible mass layoff of some 3,500 employees of its 7,500-member workforce.

The PAL’s Employees Association criticized the decision, in which former Acting Labor secretary Romeo Lagman described the spinoff as a valid exercise of management prerogative.

However, PAL in a separate statement asserted that the spin-off is not illegal and part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement of the union.

“We hope Bishop Pabillo will also give the PAL management the chance to explain its current critical situation and the reason for its spin-off,” PAL said.

PAL added that it would try to make Pabillo understand that the move was aimed at saving the airline and to keep the other 4,000 workers who will also lose their jobs if PAL goes bankrupt.

The bishop, however, said these actions infringe provisions against labor contracting and on job security contained within the company’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

"There are existing policies against labor contracting even within the airline company so it’s unbelievable that the DOLE came out with such ruling," he said. (MSN/Sunnex)