Solon to grill labor chief Baldoz over PAL

A MEMBER of the House of Representatives yesterday warned the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) against issuing an order to suppress the right of Philippine Airlines (PAL) workers to collectively protest.

Anakpawis Rep. Rafael Mariano expressed full support to the PAL employees’ union, PALEA, which filed a notice of strike (NOS) on grounds of unfair labor practices and union-busting of PAL management.

“Protests are in order and justified to counter and expose the PAL management’s long-standing violation of workers’ rights. PAL employees have all the reasons to launch a strike to protect their jobs and oppose the planned outsourcing in PAL,” Mariano said.

The militant congressman said he will question Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz’s decision affirming PAL’s outsourcing of services and closure of the in-flight catering, airport services and call center reservations department of the airline company during the committee hearing set tomorrow.

“The morals and wisdom of Secretary Baldoz’ decision is highly questionable,” Mariano said.

He noted that Dole’s decision declaring the retrenchment and outsourcing as “just, reasonable, humane and lawful” seems “lifted from the PAL management’s position paper on the labor dispute in defense of the outsourcing.”

Mariano accused Baldoz of being influenced by former Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma, who is now on PAL’s payroll as company legal counsel.

The solon added that PAL management is represented by the Laguesma, Magsalin, Consulta and Gastardo Law office where Laguesma and Buenaventura Magsalin, former executive director of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB), are senior partners handling corporate and labor cases.

“Laguesma and Magsalin were Baldoz’s bosses in Dole,” Mariano said.

Laguesma was the labor secretary in 1998 when the PAL management forcibly imposed the 10-year CBA moratorium, strike suspension and massive layoffs. D’Jay Lazaro

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