CPP condemns removal of protesting PAL workers

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
September 29, 2011

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said it "joins the Filipino working class and the workers of Philippine Air Lines (PAL) in condemning the police and security forces for bodily removing PAL ground workers who staged a work stoppage Tuesday to protest the impending retrenchment of thousands of employees."

"The CPP further condemns the Aquino government for threatening to file criminal charges against the PAL workers for alleged 'economic sabotage'," added the CPP. "Aquino is showing complete disdain for the PAL workers' plight. Now, the soon-to-be retrenched workers will not only have to contend with the loss of their jobs but with the mailed fist tactics of the vindictive antiworker government as well."

Up to 2,600 regular workers of PAL are set to be retrenched by Saturday after Aquino repeatedly dismissed workers' appeals to overturn previous Malacañang rulings affirming the PAL management's plans of removing its regular workers in the check-in, cargo, catering and ramp areas and replace them with contractual workers outsourced from service agencies.

Workers' organizations and church groups, including the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBPC) have joined the PAL Employees Association (PALEA) in protesting the decisions of Malacañang favoring the PAL management.

"By rejecting the workers' call for dialogue and refusing to heed appeals to suspend the scheduled retrenchment, PAL pushed its workers to the wall and left them with no other option but to launch last Tuesday's protest action which succeeded in paralyzing the operations of the airline company," said the CPP.

"In the past two decades of labor flexibilization in the Philippines, the workers of PAL have largely succeeded in defending their jobs. They successfully resisted attempts by PAL's capitalist owners to have them replaced with contractual workers in an attempt to save on labor costs and protect its profits," said the CPP. "Now, in collusion with Malacañang, the PAL capitalists want to deal the fatal blow on the workers using the full coercive force of the state."

"Aquino has unabashedly displayed his obsequiousness to his big bosses in PAL through the removal of the airlines' remaining regular workers and putting an end to their union," said the CPP.

"Aquino has clearly shown himself to be antiworker. By his actions, he is telling the Filipino working class that it has nothing to expect from his regime," said the CPP. "To advance and defend their interests, the Filipino workers have no other recourse but to painstakingly build their unions and mass organizations within and outside their factories to fight for their right to decent jobs, higher wages and social guarantees."