PALEA asks CA to void PAL outsourcing
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA) has asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to annul and set aside two resolutions/decisions by the Office of the President (OP) that upheld the ruling of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) affirming the legality of PAL’s contracting out of the In-Flight Catering Operations, Airport Services Operations, and Call Center Reservation Operations.
In a 61-page petition for certiorari filed past 4 p.m. Friday, PALEA asked the appellate court to declare the outsourcing illegal, declare the termination of the regular employees illegal, and declare PAL guilty of unfair labor practice.
PALEA alleged that the assailed resolutions/decisions dated March 25, 2011 (upholding the 29 October 2010 Order of the Secretary of Labor and Employment) and August 11, 2011(denying the Motion for Reconsideration of PALEA), were issued with "grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction."
The Office of the President, represented by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, was named as respondent, along with PAL, Sky Kitchen Philippines, Sky Logistics Philippines, ePLDT Ventus(now SPi Global Holdings, Inc.).
The petition alleged that PAL registered a comprehensive income of US $72.5 million for fiscal year ending March 31, 2011.
"Converted to Philippine Pesos, PAL’s income for the previous year amounted to more than PhP 3 billion (computed at $1: PhP 42.50). Despite these, PAL will terminate more than 2,600 regular employees. What is PAL’s justification for the mass termination?" the petition read.
PALEA pointed out that the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the union and PAL "prohibits PAL from contracting out the functions and positions performed and held by regular employees."
"In Section 4, Article XXIV of the parties’ CBA, PAL has undertaken not to contract out present and future positions occupied by regular employees in the collective bargaining unit. The undertaking not to contract out is absolute such that PAL agreed that all other positions that were being contracted out at the time when the CBA was entered will be discontinued when the exigencies giving rise to the need to contract out these positions cease," the petition read.
"The consequent retrenchment of the regular employees and union members is invalid. PAL's mass termination of more than 2,600 employees is neither necessitated nor justified by the company's financial situation," the petition read.
PALEA further claimed PAL did not comply with the "legal and jurisprudential parameters" of a valid retrenchment.
The union also claimed the outsourcing is in violation of the Labor Code and DOLE Department Order No. 18-02.
Respondents have yet to receive copies of the petition.