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Philippine Airlines Labor Problem Worsens
« on: October 05, 2010, 04:54:16 PM »
By Mediatrix P. Cristobal

The Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (FASAP) vowed to finally hold its labor strike by the end of the month or early November as its last conciliation meeting with Philippine Airlines (PAL) management collapsed on Tuesday.

Both the union and the PAL management failed to reach agreement in the last five meetings, including on Tuesday, before the National Mediation and Conciliation Board (NCMB).

The union said it would proceed with its planned labor strike next month as mediation talks with Philippine Airlines failed anew.

"It will likely happen last week of October or the first week of November after we hold strike vote next week," Bob Anduiza, Fasap spokesperson said.

The union threatened to finally go on strike as it claimed that PAL remained adamant on changing labor policies, including higher retirement age and gender discrimination.

The cabin crew said they would continue with their planned strike even after PAL revealed the amount of compensation receive by employees.

The actual gross monthly pay of a PAL cabin crew ranges from P33,000 to P75,000, inclusive of productivity pay and other allowances, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said.

"A domestic crew earns between P34,619 to P37,619 per month, including productivity pay, transportation allowance and rice allocation. An international cabin attendant receives P50,741 to P60,136, while a flight purser gets P67,880 to P73,570," Villaluna said.

She said that while the salary range may be modest compared to the pay scale of giant carriers abroad, this was no small amount by Philippine standards. Hence, claims that PAL cabin crew are overworked and underpaid are not true, she said.

Villaluna said the total pay is composed of the basic salary plus the following: Per diem: when staying overnight at an international destination (US$ 45-US$ 70); when on a technical stop (US$ 100); for every regional turnaround flight (US$ 20); for every domestic flight (P185) additional pay for every hour in excess of their tour of duty (US$ 50 + US$ 20 for international flights, P1,250 per hour for domestic) first-class hotel accommodation at domestic and international stations;

Transportation allowance (or free pick-up from/to residence); free meals in flight and on ground; crew shuttle to/from airport; thermal clothing allowance (twice a year); shoe allowance – P1,200 for male, P800 for female (twice a year); uniform allowance – from P11,022 to P16,376 (every 18 months); suitcase – costs from P1,563 to P3,647 (replaced every 2 years); complete medical and dental coverage for cabin crew and their qualified dependents;

13th and 14th month pay; unused days off converted to cash; unused sick leave converted to cash; perfect attendance award – equivalent to one month pay + per diem; and retirement benefits – 1.5 month for every year of service.

After the conciliation meeting collapses, PAL now seeks the arbitration by Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

Villaluna said the submission of the case for arbitration could lead to Baldoz taking jurisdiction over the case to prevent a strike.

She said the management is now preparing contingency measures.

PAL earlier offered P80-million in additional salary plus P25 million in rice allowance (total of P105 million), change in retirement age to 45 (from 40) and increase in the cabin crew's maternity benefits, which were rejected by FASAP, who insisted on their original positions before unilaterally declaring a deadlock in the negotiations.(PNA)

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Philippine Airlines PAL Management Sucks?

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