Philippine Airlines said yesterday that the Department of Labor and Employment ruling favoring flight attendants is “confiscatory” as it obliges the flag carrier to share income it did not earn.
In the motion for reconsideration they filed before the DOLE, PAL was seeking a reversal of DOLE’s earlier decision which granted flight attendants hefty back salary increases and higher retirement age pay.
PAL president and COO Jaime Bautista said raising flight attendants’ retirement age to 60 years old has no justification in law and jurisprudence and goes against industry practice worldwide.
The labor department, on December 23, 2010, ruled in favor of Flight Attendants Association of the Philippines by granting back salary increases amounting to P222-million, a higher compulsory retirement age at 60 years old, and increased monthly rice allowance of P1,800, among others.
Bautista said despite DOLE's decision, they stood pat on their stand and reiterated their offer of P80 million to FASAP members. He said PAL wants the DOLE to reconsider their decision.
Bautista also said that the retirement issue of 45 years old was included in the memorandum of agreement between the company and FASAP and were the product of voluntary negotiations within the framework of their previous collective bargaining agreement.
“We can’t understand how DOLE and FASAP can legally justify that only the retirement provisions of the PAL-FASAP 2005-2010 CBA expired while other provisions on salaries, perks and work rules remain valid and in effect,” Bautista said in a statement.
He noted that DOLE failed to consider the average retirement age of most, if not all, of PAL’s fiercest competitors in the ASEAN region is much less that 60 years old. “Thus, early retirement for flight attendants is fast becoming the rule rather than the exception.”
Reacting on PAL’s filing of motion for reconsideration, FASAP president Bob Anduiza said, in a statement, that “it is a clear sign that instead of promoting peace, management opts to continue fighting with its flight attendants.”
Anduiza stressed that PAL had become arrogant and foolish on their stand after the labor department’s ruling, which he said is “very reasonable and fair.”
“We sincerely believe it is an opportune time for us to consider confidence building measures, which will take us easy from the atmosphere of conflict towards making the PAL workplace a happy, peaceful environment, Anduiza said.
He added that FASAP called on PAL management to accept the DOLE ruling and start healing the bruises and wounds from the labor dispute.*PNA