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DOLE to Assume Jurisdiction of PAL Labour Dispute

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Passengers of Philippine Airlines should now be able to confidently firm up their travel plans after the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) assumed jurisdiction over the flag carrier’s labor dispute with its cabin crew union.

“Labor secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said in a radio interview that she will assume jurisdiction of the PAL labour case. An assumption order has the force and effect of a status quo order which means that FASAP (Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines) cannot stage a strike or work stoppage while the labor case is being adjudicated,” said PAL spokesperson, Cielo Villaluna.

At the same time, she said PAL management is also enjoined by the order from performing any act that could disturb prevailing conditions.

“Philippine Airlines is grateful to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz for putting public interest ahead of any particular group. FASAP’s repeated strike threats is a cause of grave concern for PAL passengers whose travel plans are being unfairly disrupted,” Villaluna said. “Now FASAP is banned from staging a strike or any work stoppage, our passengers are assured of unhampered operations. We advise them to book early for their flights especially for the coming semestral break and All Saints/Souls Day holidays.”

As the labor case is submitted for arbitration, PAL and FASAP will submit their respective position papers on three pending issues – economic package (or wage increase), retirement age and maternity/pregnancy-related benefits – for resolution by the labor secretary.

“We hope Secretary Baldoz would be able to judiciously resolve the contentious issues soonest so that PAL can operate smoothly and efficiently without threats of any work stoppage that unnecessarily scares away customers and investors,” Villaluna added.

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