PAL hits back at ex-employees’ ‘wild accusations’
MANILA, Philippines — Flag carrier Philippine Air Lines (PAL) hit back, on Monday, against its former employees for “hastily laying the blame on the airline management” for last Saturday’s confrontation at the PAL Inflight Center (IFC) in Pasay City.
In particular, PAL singled out “left-leaning sectoral representatives” who had accused the airline’s management of “harassing laid off workers.”
“Those who know nothing better than make wild and baseless accusations against the airline should shut up and let the police do the investigative work,” PAL said in a statement.
“It was clear from news reports and photos taken from the scene that former PAL workers barred the airline’s catering truck from leaving its own facility,” the airline added. “They were armed with rattan truncheons, planks with nails and even burned a carton box all with the aim of inflicting harm should the truck driver insist on leaving PAL’s Inflight Center. So who’s harassing whom?”
PAL also lamented the absence of policemen at the protest site, especially when one of the company’s trucks was being blocked by the protesters, but it observed that the cops “conveniently arrested” someone who claimed to have been hired by PAL management to disperse its former employees’ camp.
“Worse, authorities were reportedly unable to apprehend those responsible for the death of a hapless bystander,” PAL said.
As to the stench allegedly emanating from its In-flight Center, PAL said protesting former PAL workers had only themselves to blame.
“They won’t allow our trucks to leave the facility; even a garbage truck from Pasay City’s waste management office was prevented by protesters from picking up garbage unless these were brought to the IFC gate,” the airline said. “And now they complain that the area stinks? Let them have a dose of their own medicine.”
The airline also responded to accusations that it had refused to provide protesting former workers with free tickets, saying “PAL reserves the right to refuse conveyance to those who make false and malicious claims that the airline is unsafe and whose ultimate goal is to bring down the company.”
Meanwhile, the airline said that its staff members based at its North America regional office in San Francisco denounced the picket staged last October 27 by American unionists in the Bay Area in support of dismissed PAL workers in Manila.
The San Francisco-based PAL union members expressed collective support to the airline’s efforts at normalizing operations after implementation of its outsourcing program last October 1.
In a signed manifesto, 10 US-based PAL unionists rejected calls to join the October 27 picket held in front of the Philippine Consulate led by members of the Burlingame, California-based International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
“We do not approve of such demonstration and refuse to participate,” union steward Danilo Mirabucao said in a reply to the group’s invitation letter. “In these hard and difficult economic times, let us not aggravate the situation with noisy and disruptive demonstrations.”
The letter was signed by the following PAL union members: Jennifer del Rosario, Maria Josephine Encarnacion, Editha Gelasio, Teresa Jante, Carmencita Macante, Shirley Ong, Edwin Perez, Emilyn Roxas-Liwag, Rosita Tobes and Theresa Jasmin Houwer of the San Francisco station.
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