MANILA – A labor center on Monday asked President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III to understand the plight of the workers of flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, in light of the management’s move to charge the resigned pilots for breach of contract.

“President Noynoy should push the PAL management to address the causes that lie in the company’s labor issues. He should not confine himself with the alleged disruptive effects on the country’s tourism and economy of what happened. Obviously, it's the livelihood of PAL employees that is on the line here,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno.

Aquino earlier said that the flight cancellations due to lack of pilots manning the Airbus 319 and 320 planes will be dealt severely by the tourism industry.

“President Noynoy should also desist from all these talk about filing charges…We know it’s the pilots, not the PAL management, who will be hardest hit when government takes legal action,” said Labog.

KMU attributed the cancellations as “a direct result of the PAL management’s actions”, including the looming job cuts, which would affect 3,500 of its 7,500 employees.

The Labor department in June approved PAL’s plan to outsource its call center, catering and ground services operations in a bid to save P1.5 billion.

PAL earlier said it would spend around P2 billion for the separation packages of the retrenched employees.

“The PAL management wants them replaced with contractual employees and casuals who will receive low pay and will have no security of tenure,” said Labog. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)