In an act of global solidarity the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) along with the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) and ITF Sydney office leafleted Philippine Airline passengers at Sydney Airport this week, highlighting the struggle of the workers who have been locked out since September 2011.
|[Picture: Union activists hand out leaflets to Philippine Airlines Cabin Crew]|
Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) has been fighting a Philippine Airlines (PAL) outsourcing plan that saw 2,400 check-in, baggage, catering and technical workers sacked.
Workers were told to reapply for their former jobs at half the rate of pay or less, with no job security and no union protection.
The response from PAL and the Philippine government to the workers’ peaceful picket and 18 month long encampment has been the forcible eviction and arrest of locked out workers.
The union activists handed out flyers and had a positive response from the Manila bound passengers.
Family members of workers were present at the airport and the union activists were even told by the PAL cabin crew that they were in support of the locked out workers’.
MUA National Secretary and President of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), Paddy Crumlin, said that the effort from the ITF unions was a necessary display of global solidarity.
“We have a responsibility to get on the front foot against the war on workers, ”
“It is important that all transport workers, and in fact all trade unions, to make sure that there is an international network to support these workers and stop others becoming victims,”
“We need to display our solidarity and communicate our determination to go the distance with those workers,” Mr Crumlin said.
Addressing a crowd of hundreds of activists in Melbourne last moth, PALEA President, Gerry Rivera, thanked the MUA and other Australian activists for their solidarity.
“We were sacked and locked out by Philippine Airlines, because we refused to become casual employee’s,” Mr Rivera said.
“Because of your International solidarity . . . we were able to pressure the management of Philippine Airlines to come to the [bargaining] table, and negotiate for our eventual reinstatement,
“Thank you for supporting us in Australia in this long struggle against the corporate greed of Philippine Airlines,”
“Solidarity knows no borders.”
*Negotiation’s between the PAL management and PALEA is on-going.
|[Picture: Union activists from MUA, TWU and ITF Sydney office at Sydney Airport]|