Palea ready to defy Dole order

THE Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (Palea) declared its readiness to defy the order of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) that enjoined the planned paralyzing strike at Philippine Airlines (PAL).

“We are ready to defy that (Dole) order any time we deem it necessary to go on strike in order to prevent layoff and contractualization at PAL. The order has not stopped a strike at PAL, it has merely postponed it to a date that PAL and the government cannot know in advance,” said Gerry Rivera, Palea president and vice chair of Partido ng Manggagawa.

Palea lambasted the certification order signed by Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, which was served on the union office as a mobilization of some 2,000 PAL employees and supporters snarled traffic at the airport area.

“The order is the last nail on the coffin of labor rights in the country. PNoy’s government is executing one by one the Constitutionally-guaranteed rights of workers to security of tenure, collective bargaining and peaceful concerted action including strikes. PNoy has not only legalized the actions of Lucio Tan but also illegalized the action Palea through that order. But Palea will resist being a victim of PNoy’s anti-labor policy,” Rivera said.

Rivera called on the 3,700 members of Palea to remain vigilant and ready to go on strike any time. Palea plans to hold protests next week in coordination with a labor unity coalition of moderate to militant workers groups. Among other activities, Palea and other labor groups will picket at the Dole Intramuros main office and tear a copy of the order from Baldoz.

“The right to strike is a Constitutionally-protected freedom by workers to defend themselves against the awesome powers of capital. PNoy has taken the crooked path instead of the straight road by siding with Lucio Tan, the country’s second richest man and the workers number one enemy,” insisted Renato Magtubo, chairman of PM.

Palea will also meet with different labor groups at the TUCP compound in Quezon City to map out joint activities. The groups seek to galvanize public opinion in support of Palea’s campaign against contractualization. Among the planned activities are workers assemblies, advocates fora and a labor caravan around industrial areas and ecozones.

PALEA also said that the Dole order can be a strong evidence in the case they plan to file to the International Labor Organization against government’s suppression of the conventions on the right to self-organization and collective bargaining.

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