That was how labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno described DOTC Sec. Mar Roxas’ instruction to the PAL management to set up a “contingency plan” should workers launch a strike in the country’s flag carrier, saying the Aquino government is not making a pretense of upholding workers’ rights on the issue.
“Roxas’ instruction is nothing less than an order, brazen because it was made public, to prepare scabs should PAL workers hold a strike. With this order, Mar is making no pretense of upholding 2,600 PAL workers’ interest to keep their regular jobs,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“Just like Noynoy, Mar is using the interest of the public to justify plans to sabotage a possible workers’ strike in PAL. We trust, however, that the public will understand a strike by PAL workers because they stand to lose their regular jobs just because Lucio Tan wants to implement a scheme that will increase his profits,” he added.
Scabs already in PAL
KMU said sources from PAL report that workers from other local and domestic airlines are already deployed in the company even before Roxas’ instruction to the PAL management.
“It seems that Roxas is performing a badly-written script commissioned by Lucio Tan. With possible strikebreakers already in place in PAL, Roxas’ instruction is exposed as not really an instruction, but a justification for strike-breaking,” Labog added.
Capitalists uniting vs. workers
Roxas also asked other local and domestic airlines to come to PAL’s rescue should a strike is launched by workers, saying business rivalries should be considered secondary to the interest of the country.
“What Roxas is saying is that capitalists should close ranks and help each other when one of them is faced with a workers’ strike. He is trying to make such a repugnant and anti-worker collusion palatable to the public,” Labog said.
“By defending the privatization of the MRT and LRT and now justifying the hiring of strikebreakers in PAL, Mar is earning the ire of the Filipino workers and people. We don’t think this is the best way to prepare for the next elections,” he added. Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU Chairperson