CIAC workers: Include us in Clark airport development

CLARK FREEPORT -- Employees of the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) have expressed their sentiments over the airport privatization plan by the national government.

The airport workers, belonging to the Samahan Ng Mga Manggagawa ng Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (SMD), has set a series of activities to air their grievances.

Manny Banez, president of the CIAC workers union, said their group is not against development but asserted that the employees deserve to know all of the information regarding the impending privatization of the airport.

“We are not against the development of CIAC. Pero sana naman doon sa development ay kasama kaming mga malilit na manggagawa ng CIAC dahil halos dito na nakapag-establish ng career ang mga empleyado at halos po sa amin ay may pinag-aaral at marami pang utang at may edad na para humanap ng ibang mapapasukan na trabaho,” Banez said.

(We hope that they include us, lowly workers, in the development because a lot of the employees here have already established their careers, and most of us have a student to support, while others are in debt, and some are already old and have nowhere else to look for a job).

He said that some 273 rank and file employees, belonging to the DMIA workers union, stand to lose their jobs once the airport is privatized.

One of the group’s petitions includes the “retiring and rehiring of all employees.” They are also asking for a retirement rate of 2.5 of monthly salary multiplied by years in service. Aside from this, the workers are also praying for the reinstatement of their life insurance and health benefits.

Banez said that officials of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which is under the leadership of Vivencio “Vince” Dizon, already relayed to the workers the airport privatization sans details particularly its commencement and time frame.

“Hindi po naming alam kung kailian, baka mabigla kami bukas wala na pala kaming mga trabaho,” Banez said.

(We don’t know when and we might be surprised that tomorrow we won’t have a job anymore)

The workers’ leader made an assurance that their activities will not affect the normal operation of the airport as prayer rallies they conduct are during break times.

A source said that Dizon is set to meet with the affected airport workers next week.
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