PAL, labor union ink new CBA

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has resolved its longstanding issue on retirement benefits demanded by its labor union representing its flight attendants and stewards.

The airline owned by taipan Lucio Tan said it has signed a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP), concluding the negotiations between management and workers that went on for multiple rounds.

PAL president and CEO Stanley Ng and FASAP president Bob Anduiza signed the CBA.

Anduiza said PAL almost became a casualty of the pandemic when travel and trade were halted for much of 2020.

Despite the uncertainties, PAL’s cabin crew members volunteered to serve the repatriation flights for overseas Filipino workers who got displaced.

According to Anduiza, the CBA enhanced the salaries of the flag carrier’s flight personnel and at the same time resolved the long-time dispute on retirement benefits for crew members.

“The new CBA offers much needed improvements in the salaries and earnings of the cabin crew members. [Most] importantly, the resolution of the longstanding disagreement on the retirement issues in the CBA is a major morale booster for the crew,” Anduiza said.

With the new CBA approved, Anduiza said FASAP and its members commit to support PAL in its efforts to recoup its losses from the pandemic.

“FASAP is thankful to PAL management, president Stanley Ng and the PAL board members for making this deal happen. The signing of the CBA at this critical time of the COVID-19 pandemic propels a new era of trust and cooperation between PAL and FASAP,” Anduiza said.

Last year PAL filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a New York court to clear more than $2 billion in outstanding debt. The reorganization also included the reduction of its fleet capacity by 25 percent to 70 aircrafts.

The restructuring also involved the infusion of $505 million worth of debt financing and long-term equity from majority shareholders.

Before the end of 2021, the flag carrier exited Chapter 11 proceedings  and vowed to increase its flights as international borders reopen.


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