MANILA, Sept. 29, 2011—An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines chided President Aquino’s warning to sue employees of Philippine Airlines for holding a strike recently.
Fr Edwin Gariguez, executive secretary of the CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action, said Aquino knows the problem and the demand of PAL employees but he opted to side with the airline management.
In an interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas Thursday, he said members of the PAL Employees Association (Palea) have their right to protest to oppose the lay-off of 2,600 workers.
Instead of helping them, the CBCP official lamented that Aquino thought of “economic sabotage” when he learned about the strike at the height of typhoon “Pedring” last Tuesday.
“For me, this is injustice! The strike was their way of protest and to fight for their security of tenure. I don’t understand why, instead of protecting their labor rights, they will be charged in court,” Gariguez said.
“There should be a broader look at the context of a serious problem. President Aquino’s move is contrary to his pronouncement that the Filipinos are his boss,” he said.
The strike last Tuesday forced PAL management to suspend all flights. Some 172 domestic and international flights were reportedly affected.
Aquino has already ordered Malacañang lawyers to check if PAL workers who refused to work can be charged in court. [CBCPNews]