FASAP wins labor dispute vs PAL

December 25, 2010 12:20 am 

MANILA, Dec. 24 – The Flight Attendants' & Stewards' Association of the Philippines (FASAP) and its 1,600 members won its labor dispute against PAL Friday.

The flight attendants of PAL will indeed have a very Merry Christmas after Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz ruled in its favor to correct the discriminatory compulsory retirement age from 55, 45 and 40 years old to 60 years old, for both male and female flight attendants.

In her Order dated December 24, 2010, Secretary Baldoz said, “The different retirement ages for flight attendants performing the same services constitute a clear discrimination of their right to equal work opportunity.”

The DOLE Order further declared, “It is in this light that setting the compulsory retirement age of sixty (60) years – both for male and female cabin crew personnel – is fair and reasonable.”

The retirement age of flight attendants is the most contentious issue between PAL and FASAP.

FASAP president Bob Anduiza rallied its flight attendants and led them to fight the discrimination issue of the CBA dispute this year after efforts to forge an amicable contract ended in a deadlock on the issue of age and gender discrimination.

“As union leaders, we owe it to our members and to other female workers in the country to stand up against discrimination in the Philippine workplace. If we cannot have equality in the PAL workplace, then it would be doubly difficult for other Filipino workers to assert their rights.”

After learning of the DOLE decision, Anduiza was thankful and said, “We are elated with the decision of Secretary Baldoz, upholding equality for the PAL flight attendants. She deserves praise and respect for her display of fairness and resolve despite the reputed power and influence of PAL,” Anduiza added.

In the said Order, Baldoz argued, “The set up under the old CBA is that female attendants are forced to retire at age 55, while their male counterparts may serve until age 60, for cabin attendants hired before 22 November 1996. Hereon, all cabin attendants hired thereafter, regardless of gender, shall be forced to retire at age 45; while, those hired after 22 November 2000 shall retire at the much early age of 40. Indeed, this structure appears to be discriminatory which may not only be in the context of gender but also as in terms of equal work opportunity as guaranteed under the Philippine Constitution and the Philippine Labor Code and its Implementing Rules.”

FASAP was also able to support its position on the economic aspect of the dispute, citing PAL’s most recent financial statements showing the Company’s recent financial recovery and profitability.

PAL’s offer of P105 million was increased by the DOLE to around P200 million, after it ruled to grant reasonable wage increases, as follows:

“Under the circumstances, we find the following wage increases and augmentation in rice allowance fair and reasonable and, therefore, awards the same to FASAP:

Wage increases:

16 Jul 07 to 16 Jul 08 to 16 Jul 09 to 15 July 08: 15 Jul 09 15 Jul 10

DCA

PhP2,000 PhP1,300 PhP1,300

ICA

PhP2,000 PhP1,300 PhP1,300

FP

PhP2,500 PhP1,300 PhP1,300

FASAP also cited the disparity of the rice subsidy compared to other PAL employees.

In this regard, the DOLE increased it to “Rice allowance. – Fixed at Php1,800 per member.”

A jubilant Bob Anduiza said, “This is a historic victory not just for FASAP and the flight attendants, this campaign and the decision of Sec. Baldoz sets a clear and strong message to employers in the country to respect the rights of all Filipino workers, regardless of age and gender. We take this opportunity to thank the Aquino Administration, the watchful glare of the media, our friends in civil society and of course Secretary Baldoz for helping FASAP defend the rights of its flight attendant members."

"We extend our hand to PAL management in reconciliation and take this golden opportunity to work together and face the tough competition in the airline industry. We call on PAL’s management, to accept this ruling and start healing the bruises and wounds from this labor dispute" Anduiza appealed.

In a message to all FASAP members, Anduiza said, "This is a triumph not just for PAL flight attendants. The DOLE ruling ensures Filipinos workers of equal opportunity, especially for women. For the first time in Philippine history, PAL's female flight attendants can work until 60 years old!" (PNA)

DCT/CJT/PR

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