PAL vs FASAP: What's the salary of a flight attendant?

Posted at 10/02/10 10:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - What is the salary of a Philippine Air Lines (PAL) flight attendant?

If you ask PAL management, the flag carrier's cabin crew are well paid and get the "best benefits that are the envy of other Filipino workers."

"FASAP (Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines) claims their basic pay is below the government set minimum wage, but this is just a portion of their salary. The truth is they receive much, much more," Cielo Villaluna, PAL spokesperson, said in a statement.

Villaluna said that contrary to FASAP's claims that its members only receive a basic salary of P8,605 a month, she said the actual pay ranges from P33,000 to P75,000.

She said a domestic cabin attendant gets P34,619 to 37,619 a month, including productivity pay, transportation allowance and rice allocation.

An international cabin attendant receives P50,741 to P60,136, while a flight purser gets P67,880 to P73,570.

While the amounts may be lower compared to those being provided by international carriers, she said the flight attendants' salaries are still higher by Philippine standards.

Other perks

Villaluna also denied the FASAP's claims that they are not only underpaid but overworked as well.

In the statement, PAL provided details of the perks and pay of its cabin crew.

·    additional pay for every hour in excess of their tour of duty ($50 + $20 for international flights, P1,250 per   hour for domestic)
·    first-class hotel accommodation at domestic and international stations
·    transportation allowance (or free pick-up from/to residence)
·    free meals in flight and on ground
·    crew shuttle to/from airport

.    thermal clothing allowance (twice a year)
·    shoe allowance – P1,200 for male, P800 for female (twice a year)
·    uniform allowance – from P11,022 to P16,376 (every 18 months)
·    suitcase – costs from P1,563 to P3,647 (replaced every 2 years)
·    complete medical and dental coverage for cabin crew and their qualified dependents

·    13th & 14th month pay
·    unused days off converted to cash
·    unused sick leave converted to cash
·    perfect attendance award – equivalent to one month pay + per diem
·    retirement benefits – 1.5 month for every year of service.

The airline said that the cabin crew also receives per diem,
 - when staying overnight at an international destination ($45-$70)
 - when on a technical stop ($100)
 - for every regional turnaround flight ($20)
 - for every domestic flight (P185)

Villaluna challenged the FASAP to show proof that will belie these wages and benefits of its members from PAL.

Flight attendants get 30% less than minimum wage

A computation by an "expert" of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) disclosed this week shows that PAL flight attendants receive 30% less than the minimum wage.

The computation was presented during a failed meeting on Tuesday between PAL and FASAP. It was 1 of the sticking points that forced FASAP to issue anew strike threats.

Flight attendants have allegedly been receiving a monthly salary of P8,605, below the minimum wage, since 2004. The minimum wage then was at P300 or P9,125 monthly.

Today, the minimum wage stands at P404 or P12,288.33 monthly.

Based on the minutes of the meeting obtained by abs-cbnNEWS.com, the NCMB arrived at the computation based “on the prevailing minimum wage in the previous years covering 2000 to 2010, using the 365 factor as indicated in the PAL’s  CBA [collective bargaining agreement].”

Mediation meetings bogged down on Tuesday, forcing the 1,600-strong FASAP to declare a strike.

On Saturday (Oct. 2), the FASAP said the "ball is now on PAL's hands."

"The last ditch efforts for conciliation on Tuesday is PAL's opportunity to come clean and address the clear discrimination against flight attendants. PAL should not wait for a strike or pass the buck to the DOLE secretary to correct its anti-labor and gender-biased policies.

"FASAP will keep its reasonable positions for Tuesday's final meeting at the DOLE," FASAP said. -- with a report from Ira Pedrasa, abs-cbnNEWS.com