June 22, 2013
FASAP OUTRAGED BY COURT OF APPEALS QUESTIONABLE DECISION TO REVERT AGE AND GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN PAL
We are outraged by the Court of Appeals Decision to uphold the discrimination against PAL flight attendants after it ruled to revert the Compulsory retirement age to 55, 45 and 40 years old.
The elimination of age and gender discrimination against FASAP members was a central issue in the 2007-2010 CBA dispute.
FASAP President Bob Anduiza said that, “With this controversial Court of Appeals decision, FASAP will have no choice but to once again fight back and defend its rights. The union will not take this sitting down and unfortunately, this will set-back the recent gains of goodwill we have been working on with the new SMC-led PAL management.”
“We had just concluded a respectable CBA with management and the next move was to start looking into possible solutions to the many cases pending in the courts for a “clean slate.” Unknown to us all, while we were busy making peace and setting a different direction towards harmonious relations with the new management, PAL’s lawyers were up to something else.” Anduiza lamented.
Anduiza added, “We will file a Motion for Reconsideration before the Court of Appeals. FASAP will also meet the members to organize the union’s protest actions.”
In December 2010, after a lengthy and contentious process of mediation and arbitration proceedings, the Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda D. Baldoz ruled to raise the compulsory retirement age for all PAL flight attendants to 60 years old.
Even Chairperson Ms. Etta Rosales of the Commission of Human Rights issued its ruling which found PAL management guilty of age and gender discrimination, which is a violation of FASAP members’ human rights.
The Philippine Commission on Women, the body that is mandated to implement the Magna Carta of Women, also supported the case of FASAP. The Akbayan party list group led by Rep. Walden Bello and Ms. Risa Hontiveros likewise helped FASAP, along with other peoples’ organizations.
With overwhelming arguments and evidence against PAL management, it is really a wonder why Associate Justice Ramon Cruz sided with PAL’s lawyers and reversed the DOLE ruling. The Retirement provision in the CBA was the reason for the deadlock in negotiations, because it is discriminatory. The union even filed for a notice of strike because of the deadlock. “This is highly controversial and we cannot help but suspect irregularity. This is yet another example of the notoriety of the Philippine Justice System.” Bob Anduiza stated.
It will be recalled that the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines, the labor union representing PAL flight attendants, filed a Notice of Strike in August 2010, after the CBA negotiations suffered a deadlock over the main issue of Discrimination in the retirement age.
The DOLE assumed jurisdiction of the case and eventually ruled in favour of FASAP.
PAL elevated the case before the Court of Appeals, and in a sudden and controversial development, the Court of Appeals reversed the Decision of the Secretary of DOLE and reverted the discriminatory retirement age limits for flight attendants.
“We will call on all FASAP members to be extra vigilant. Apparently the days of labor disputes are not yet over, even after PAL changed its management. We have no choice but to defend our human rights and dignity as workers. We need to be solid and united as ever.” Anduiza declared.
Please feel free to contact FASAP for clarifications and interviews at tel nos. 854-51-59, 851-53-93, FASAP Hotline 0918-8532727.