Anakpawis backs PAL strike

ANAKPAWIS party-list Rep. Rafael Mariano expressed full support for the impending labor strike of Philippine Airlines flight attendants.

“Since 1998, the PAL management suppressed the PAL employees’ right to strike with the implementation of a strike moratorium…. Since then, the PAL management effortlessly imposed unfair labor practices that resulted in wholesale violation of workers’ rights,” Mariano said in a statement.

Mariano said the Labor department’s move to assume the dispute at PAL will not work if management keeps its “anti-labor” stance and policies.

“The assumption jurisdiction will only work to the advantage of PAL management. [It] has been perpetually used to justify preemptive response to organized actions of workers (and) remains as the fatal prerogative of the Labor secretary against labor unions and workers,” he said.

“[The Labor department] is always quick to intervene or assume jurisdiction when workers carry out their inherent and constitutional right to strike. But when aggrieved workers file legal complaints against erring employers, cases drag at various labor arbitration and mediation agencies, taking years and even decades to resolve,” Mariano said.

“Instead of recognizing first the legitimacy of the grounds of the impending strike, DOLE uses the assumption of jurisdiction to protect the interest of the management,” he added.

The assumption of jurisdiction clause in the workers’ right to strike provision in the Labor Code has been the subject of long-standing dialogue between the International Labor Organization, labor unions and the Philippine government.

Mariano said there is an urgent need to amend existing Philippine labor laws pertaining to assumption of jurisdiction. “Strike is one of the basic trade union rights that workers should be able to exercise and use to their advantage,” he said. D’Jay Lazaro

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