Strike looms at Philippine Airlines as talks collapse

Strike looms at Philippine Airlines as talks collapse

Travellers in south-east Asia are bracing themselves for disruption as cabin crew at Philippine Airlines prepare to walk out on strike.

Final negotiations between the Flight Attendants’ & Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (FASAP) and airline management broke down earlier, with a return to negotiating table unlikely ahead of the industrial action.

FASAP president Bob Anduiza said “PAL is playing games and is insisting on its unreasonable retirement age limit.

“They are not serious in resolving the dispute.

“PAL is just playing deaf and blind to the concerns of the flight attendants.”

The two sides are in disagreement over pay and conditions, with unions demanding higher wages and an end to a compulsory retirement age of 45.

By raising the limit to 60-years-of-age unions hope to remove the discrimination suffered by the predominantly female flight crew.

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FASAP also argues the airline is unwilling to pay women on maternity leave.

Following the announcement, PAL assured passengers that a strike could not be called overnight, even as it called on the Labour Department to take steps to avert the strike.

“PAL is preparing emergency measures in case such a strike will occur,” airline spokeswoman Cielo Villaluna said without elaborating.

FASAP is considering its position, with strikes possible as early as the last week of October.

Solidarity

FASAP members have also won the support of other unions at the airline, with both the labour group Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) and the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) coming out in protest.

Judy Ann Miranda, secretary general of PM, declared: “FASAP’s brothers and sisters in the labour movements stand as one body and speak with one voice in solidarity with the struggle of the flight attendants.

“We will mobilise our members, especially women workers, to support their fight.”

Meanwhile Gerry Rivera, PALEA president, stated: “PALEA members will respect any picket line that will be setup by FASAP.

“We will be with them in the picket lines.”