The 27th day of September will no longer be an ordinary day in the history. It will be remembered as the day when members of Philippine Airline Employees Association (PALEA) fought valiantly and demonstrated the real power

of the working class. PALEA’s protest action which resulted to the paralysis of Philippine Airline’s (PAL) operation for a day was a clear and strong message of resistance against contractualization.

While our country was devastated by typhoon “Pedring”, 2,600 employees of PAL will also suffer devastation through the company’s move to terminate them and outsource its services in the grounds. The said move was the most treacherous act of PAL under the ownership of Lucio Tan. After the workers suffered from a 13-year suspension of their right to collectively bargain, their sacrifices was rewarded with termination. Furthermore, they will be rehired under the service providers as probationary employees with a much lower salary.

We sincerely appeal to the public not to quickly judge PALEA members as bunch of hooligans that created mere disruption of PAL operation. We should extend our patience and deepen our understanding on their acts. The riding public might have been irritated for the inconvenience brought about by PALEA’s protest action, but for PALEA, PAL management’s move to take away their job is more irritating. The real culprit here is PAL itself, facts have been reported that they were the ones who issued termination to the employees and barred them from entering in their work premises. It’s PAL who was also the first to declare suspension of flights on that day.

Contrary to opinion makers and politicians who view PALEA’s action as economic sabotage, we view it as a response against PAL management’s act to sabotage the future of every son and daughters of PALEA.  Under contractualization policy, the future working class will never achieve better living conditions.

We affirm our support for PALEA’s plight; we will always stand by their side. We will march together for job security and for the future of the young people.

Samahang Demokratiko ng Kabataan (SDK)

Partido ng Manggagawa Kabataan (PMK)

September 29, 2011