PLM on Department of Labor's decision to sack 3,000 PAL employees PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Wednesday, 03 November 2010 14:57
Simple Greed

 

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz’ argument on allowing Philippine Airlines management to sack its 3,000 employees sounded as if it was a sacred and sacrosanct act. She said it was a “just, reasonable, humane and lawful exercise” of management prerogative. PAL Chairman Lucio Tan could not have said it better.

 

But if in her statement Baldoz painted a saintly figure of the PAL management, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna presented a scary scenario of what would happen if the company would not have its way. Villaluna said that if there was no spin-off, the company “will close down and 7,500 workers will be displaced without separation pay,” thereby having “adverse effects on PAL’s shareholders, the riding public and public interest.”

 

Villaluna’s argument is not only meant to scare; it threatens the workers with non-payment of what is due them. Hasn’t it crossed Villaluna’s mind that not paying separation pay for displaced workers, should the company decide to close down for whatever reason, is illegal, i.e., against the law?

 

The point about the mass lay-off at PAL is that it is being implemented to cut down on the number of regular workers, so the company could subcontract the jobs to irregular workers.  So how can it be “just” when you have been working for the company for decades and then your jobs would be spinned off to other “service providers” (which they also control) which give less wages and benefits for workers.

 

The culprit here is the contractualization strategy implemented by many companies today.  What is happening in PAL is also happening in Fortune Tobacco, also owned by Lucio Tan; in SM group of companies by Henry Sy; the Gokongwei groups of companies; and many more big corporations in the country.

 

To save on costs, capitalism today has to sack more and more number of regular workers and replace them with contractual labor. This may be legal, according to the present law, but it surely isn’t “just,” “reasonable” or “humane.” It’s simply greed, or a drive to maximize capitalist profits.

 

Sonny Melencio

Chairperson, PLM

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 November 2010 15:01
 

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