APART from its disgruntled pilots and flight attendants, the union of ground crew of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) threatens to hold a strike to stop the management from outsourcing its employees.

In a statement, the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (Palea) said they are not going to allow retrenchment of regular ground workers and later be hired as "contractuals."

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“Our job is our life and if necessary we will strike to defend our livelihood for the sake of our families,” said Palea President Gerry Rivera.

Rivera noted that if the plan of the PAL management pushes through, it would lead to the retrenchment of some 3,000 employees of the flag-carrier.

Ground workers include those in the airport services, in-flight catering, and ticketing reservations.

PAL is already reeling from the recent resignation of 25 pilots due to the diminution of their salaries and benefits leading to the suspension of several flights of the airline firm.

The Flight Attendants and Stewardess Association of the Philippines (Fasap) is also leaning towards the conduct of a labor stoppage due to the unresolved issue of mandatory retirement age of 40.

Currently, a mediation meeting is set to be conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) between Palea and PAL management.

“We welcome the preference of Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz to mediate the dispute on job contracting in PAL unlike former undersecretary Romeo Lagman, who unilaterally issued a midnight decision favoring management," Rivera noted.

"But even as we negotiate in good faith we have to be prepared for all eventualities including the necessity to strike if the planned layoff pushes through,” he stressed. (AMN/Sunnex)