PAL Leaves Mediation Offer In Labor Row To New Management

The flag carrier, Philippine Airlines (PAL) refused to comment whether they will accept the offer that the Court of Appeals (CA) offered, to mediate in the labor argument caused by the early retirement of some 2, 300 workers last year.

In its place, the decision will be left to the new management led by San Miguel Corporation, President Ramon Ant, whose group will reportedly fill some $500 million to fund the struggling airline’s re-fleeting and modernization program.

“We are in the transition phase, so it’s best for the new leaders to decide regarding legal issues,” Vice president for corporate communications of PAL, Joey de Guzman said.

The Court of Appeals (CA) tenth division asked PAL and the PAL Employees Association (PALEA) in a resolution dated March 27, if they are prepare to bring the issue before the Philippine Mediation Center-Court of Appeals for “a final opportunity to explore the possibility of coming up with an amicable settlement of their dispute.”

It almost took 8 months for the appellate court to came up with the suggestion to end the labor row after Malacañang found it admissible for PAL to outsource its catering, ground handling and call center reservation units among losses in the past years.

Compensation packages, which floated between P120, 000 and P2.4 million, were dispersed weeks following the takeover of new service providers in October 1 last year.

But the union endured the firm in its bid to fight the spinoff program as it considered the Court of Appeals’ mediation offer as an opening to end the dispute despite attacks on its campout and spending the Christmas holidays at the picket lines.

Last Friday, PALEA submitted its reply of affirmation to the Court of Appeals.