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Old October 1st, 2010, 03:23 PM   #761
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Originally Posted by normand View Post
What is the name and address of that flight attendant. I must know that !!!
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 08:34 PM   #762
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Francia stays as Mactan airport manager
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CEBU CITY, Oct. 2 (PNA) – Retired General Danilo Augusto Francia remains as the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) general manager after the MCIAA Board failed to select a new general manager during its meeting on Thursday.

Francia, who was supposed to be replaced, presided over the meeting.

Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Undersecretary Aristotle Batuhan earlier said there was a letter from President Benigno S. Aquino III stating his desire for Cebu City Planning and Development Coordinator Paul Villarete to be named the new airport manager.

Several members of the airport board, including Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and new board members Roger Lim and Pericles Dakay, refused to talk about what transpired during their three-hour closed-door meeting.

Dakay said they only discussed the committees, while Lim refused to say anything.

Francia said the board directed the good governance committee, chaired by Francis Monera, to strengthen, rationalize and finalize the resolution passed in 2006 setting the standard qualification in the selection of the airport’s general manager.

Francia said the committee was tasked to recommend a “more realistic parameter in choosing the general manager."

The board made the decision after one of the board members questioned whether a resolution can supersede the provisions of Republic Act No. 6958 or the MCIAA Charter.

Francia said the proposal of the good governance committee will become part of the draft Implementing Rules and Regulatoins (IRR) of the charter, which was passed in 1990 yet.

Francia admitted there is no IRR yet for R.A. 6958.

However, Batuhan said the IRR is not a priority.

The priority is to select a new general manager, he said.

Batuhan is confident the new general manager will be appointed in the board meeting on Oct. 15.

He said Villarete, who has the backing of President Aquino, is the only applicant for the position which was declared vacant through newspaper advertisements last Sept. 23.

Batuhan is sitting in the MCIAA Board after DOTC Secretary Jose de Jesus designated him as alternate.

But Batuhan failed to preside over the board meeting because there is no mention in the MCIAA charter that the DOTC secretary can designate an alternate, Francia said.

Francia said the law only allows the secretaries of the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Justice and the Department of Finance to designate representatives in their absence.

But Batuhan said he can’t understand why the board will not allow him to preside when in previous years, former DOTC undersecretaries Edward Pagusan and Carina Valera presided over MCIAA board meetings.

He also questioned why the MCIAA Board allowed a retired DOT 7 director to represent the DOT secretary when the law states only the undersecretary can represent the secretary.
http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=...d=2&rid=304264
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 11:54 AM   #763
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Government to ban Philippine Airlines strike: minister
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20101001...e-5268574.html
34 mins ago
AFP

The Philippine government said Friday it would ban a planned strike that threatens to paralyse the operations of national flag-carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL).
The planned strike is the latest in a string of labour problems to hit the airline Enlarge photo

Labour Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said that if the airline and its flight attendants' union failed to reach an agreement next week, she would assume jurisdiction over the dispute, making a planned strike illegal.

"We are (looking) after the interests of the riding public. PAL is still the national carrier and there is the national interest to protect," she told AFP.

Assuming jurisdiction would force the two sides to negotiate further and, if an agreement was still not reached, the secretary could make a decision on the dispute, Baldoz explained.

The vice-president of the 1,600-strong cabin crew union, Andy Ortega, said his members would respect the secretary's authority but stressed that Baldoz should resolve the conflict quickly and fairly.

"If they stop us because of national interest, we expect them to do their part in giving us a fair and fast decision," he said.

The Flight Attendants' Association of the Philippines announced on Wednesday it would go on strike at the end of October, saying that PAL management had repeatedly rejected its demands for a pay rise.

It is also demanding paid maternity leave and an end to a company policy that forces female air hostesses to retire at the age of 40.

The government has called both sides to attend a meeting on October 5 in a last-ditch effort to avoid a strike, but the union said it was still preparing for a strike because it expected PAL to take a hardline stance.

The planned strike is the latest in a string of labour problems to hit the airline.

In August, 25 pilots and first officers on PAL's short-haul aircraft suddenly quit for higher paying jobs abroad, forcing the abrupt cancellation of several flights.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 11:55 AM   #764
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Younger cabin crew backs PAL’s mixed crew proposal
BY JAY CHUA

Domestic cabin crew of Philippine Airlines (PAL) yesterday welcomes the management’s proposal for mixed crew assignments during ongoing mediation talks between PAL and the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (FASAP) at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Several PAL cabin attendants flying domestic routes said the mixed crew assignment -- which would allow younger crew members to fly international alongside their more senior counterparts -- means additional productivity pay, per diems and other allowances.


PAL proposed the mixed crew complement as a precondition to raising the retirement age of crew members to 45 from 40.

"Even before I became a PAL flight attendant, it was my dream to fly international; to see other countries and enjoy the perks of flying international," said Sheila (not her real name), who was hired by PAL soon after graduation from an exclusive girls school.

The mix-crew assignment proposed by PAL management would enable new flight attendants, who are initially assigned to domestic flights, to fly international alongside those with longer years of service. The work rule would also allow senior crew to take on domestic flight assignments.

Both new and senior cabin crew undergo recurrent training with strict standards on the level of service they perform inflight. A younger cabin crew would need at least two to three weeks of additional training and familiarization with aircraft and equipment before she can fly international.

"We believe that our training allows us to serve on international flights. We know our role as safety officers and we also have complete training on both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft," she said.

The cabin crew union and PAL’s international flight attendants are resisting the mix-crew rule because of the additional perks that the crew receives on long-haul flights. PAL, however, assured its international crew members that there will be no reduction in their international flight assignments nor will there be a reduction of their salaries and benefits even if they also serve in domestic routes.

The young PAL flight attendant said she hopes FASAP will accept the mix-crew rule proposed by management to end the discrimination by the older crew against their younger colleagues.

"After all, we are all crew members dreaming of better opportunities and pay," Sheila said, adding that it pains them so see senior colleagues whom they look up to like older brothers and sisters, who tries to block their chances for professional growth. "It’s ironic that our own union -- who accuses management of discrimination, are the ones guilty of the same offense," she added.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 11:57 AM   #765
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Bicol Airport in Suspended Animation
As budgetary constraint forced its deferment

September 28, 2010

If Albay Governor Joey Salceda only have its way, the P3.4 billion airport should be operational around 2012. But even his closeness to the President, Benigno S. Aquino, is not a guarantee that Legaspi Daraga Airport would be operational around that period considering that it still require 2.5 billion to complete it.

Latest figures disclosed that the national government has spent only close to P1 billion for the project since its project inception in 2006; P150 million of which was allocated for feasibility study and detailed engineering in 2007; P108 million for right-of-way acquisition; P100 million for access road in 2008; and P600 million for civil works in 2009.

However, budgetary allocations was put on hold in 2010 by then President Gloria Arroyo due to swelling budget deficit. She also transferred the supervision of the airport project from DOTC to CAAP in accordance with its mandate.

According to DBM Secretary Florencio Abad, they have alloted an additional P780 million for Daraga airport but said that the amount would not be enough to complete it in 2012, considering that the infrastructure project was funded by General Appropriations fund approved by Congress.

Governor Salceda is hoping that 2011 would be a different year as Malacanang promised continuation of the project as part of the 1.4 billion pesos budget allowance for the Bicol Region. But he was given only P700 million out of the 1 billion he asked from DOTC.

“We were seeking P1 billion in the 2011 budget for the continuation of construction works but only 700 were given to us. I was hoping the allocations for 2010 to be included because CAAP did not provide any budget for the project this year” Salceda said.

Abad however stated that budget allocations for 2011 are still subject to the revenue generations by the government in 2010, unlike foreign funded projects like that in Laguindingan which require only a counterpart fund of 20-40% equity.

The revised schedule of works pegged the completion date around 2014 at the earliest and 2015 at the latest.
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Old October 3rd, 2010, 11:59 AM   #766
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Air Philippines allots $250m for Capex
Forsees 18 A320's by 2012
October 1, 2010

image hosted on flickr

Airphil Express, Philippine Airlines’ low cost subsidiary, is allotting $250 million for fleet expansion in the next two years as it plans to add 18 Airbus 320 until 2012, The company said Thursday.

Air Philippines CEO Cesar Chiong said the company is adding more planes to open more domestic and international routes to enable it to compete in the country's competitive aviation industry.


“There is an investment of $250 million for fleet expansion. It will be funded partly by internal funds and the rest from the capital market,” Ceasar Chiong, AirPhil’s executive vice-president and chief operating officer said wednesday night following the arrival of its brand new A320, the third on its fleet.

The airline did not provide details of the capex allotment this year but Chiong said $50 million of the $250-million amount has been set aside as prepayment for the six A320s that the airline is taking delivery this year.

Three of the six A320s are already delivered while the other three is scheduled for delivery within the next 60 days. The airline is expected to have six Airbus aircraft by the end of the year.

Chiong said the budget carrier had already committed to lease nine A320s, but that it was still discussing the terms for the other nine.

“We are still in discussions with the supplier for the other nine" says Chiong.

“We can either do [acquire] it by procurement or by leasing,” Chiong added.

He said the carrier was waiting for three more A320s in the last quarter, to add to its fleet of eight turboprops and three A320s. Six more Airbuses would be added in 2011 and another six in 2012, he said.

"We're looking at destinations like the Republic of Korea from Cebu, Bangkok and maybe Hong Kong," Chiong adds to its future international routes.

As for its domestic destination, the company said that it will add to its network Baguio, Vigan, Marinduque, Tacloban, Dipolog, Pagadian, and Ozamiz.

Air Philippines now operates 3 Airbus 320's, and 8 Bombardier Q400 propeller planes used to fly on domestic routes. The new plane will be utilized for its first international flight to Singapore later this month.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #767
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DoLE assumes jurisdiction over PAL row, stops planned strike

DoLE assumes jurisdiction over PAL row, stops planned strike

Agence France-Presse
First Posted 18:57:00 10/06/2010
Filed Under: Labour dispute, Air Transport

MANILA, Philippines—The government on Wednesday stopped a planned strike by Philippine Airlines cabin crew and ordered the union and the flag carrier to submit to arbitration, a union official said.

"This means we cannot pursue the process we have initiated, and at the same time the company will not be able to do anything against the union members," union leader Andy Ortega told Agence France-Presse after receiving a Department of Labor order.

The 1,600-member union had warned it would stage a walkout by the end of the month if the carrier did not raise pay and lift company policy that forces female attendants to retire when they turn 40.

Ortega said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz ordered the union and PAL to submit their positions to her within 10 days, and also gave each side five extra days to reply to the other's positions before she makes a ruling.

"We are now under compulsory arbitration," said Ortega, the vice president of the Flight Attendants Association of the Philippines.

The labor chief told Agence France-Presse it had no immediate comment.

Baldoz has previously warned that if this week's talks failed she would force both sides to submit to arbitration because a strike affecting the flag-carrier would be against the national interest.

PAL spokeswoman Cielo Villaluna said the management asked the labor department to arbitrate when the union rejected an offer to raise pay and food allowances, expand pregnancy-related benefits and push the retirement age to 45.

"This (arbitration) will enable parties to submit their respective positions to the labor secretary who will then decide the case on the merits," Villaluna said in a statement.

Villaluna said a cabin crew strike would have further impacted the loss-making airline's finances and affected the tourism industry.

The planned strike is the latest in a string of labor problems to hit the airline.

In August, 25 pilots and first officers on PAL's short-haul aircraft suddenly quit for higher paying jobs abroad, forcing the abrupt cancellation of several flights.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 04:45 PM   #768
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More Cebu Pacific flights to have dancing airline crew
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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Cebu Pacific Air plans to have more flights that will feature a dancing airline crew.

The nation’s second flag carrier said in its Twitter account on Wednesday that its flight attendants (FAs) danced just once while demonstrating safety procedures for passengers.

“Hi! Yep, we only did once so far, but we might do it on more selected flights,” a company spokesperson said in a tweet to ABS-CBN News.

Some passengers of the airline were asking why crew in their flights were not breaking into a dance as shown in a video clip that has gone viral worldwide.

The YouTube video of Cebu Pacific’s dancing flight attendants, which was uploaded last Thursday, now has over 7 million views and was featured in the online platforms of CNN, Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Daily Mail, and other news companies.

It was also picked up by PerezHilton.com, a Hollywood celebrity gossip website.

Cebu Pacific has explained that its FAs did not do the dance routine against their will, adding that they "volunteered" and "enjoyed" doing the said performances.

The airline added that the dance does not replace the serious safety demonstration as required by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

Some sectors, however, are not satisfied with Cebu Pacific’s explanation.

“This plan to make FA's dance before passengers potentially violates the Labor Code. It was certainly not what the flight attendants ever thought of doing when they applied for work,” Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño said. “It may also violate the Magna Carta for Women and the airline safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”

“While the dance routine most probably captured the passengers’ attention, it was obviously difficult to intently listen and hear the safety instructions because of the loud music,” he added.

Malacañang, meanwhile, believes that there are other ways to promote travel and tourism in the country.

“Siguro mas makaka-attract ng tourism kung magpo-promote ng masigasig iyung ating tourist attractions,” deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Wednesday.

“Iyung mga beaches natin. Mas mabuti po siguro na mas mag focus tayo doon sa services natin and dun sa pagpo-promote ng magagandang lugar sa ating bansa,” she added.

CAAP probe

The CAAP has started investigating the issue.

CAAP Director-General Alfonso Cusi ordered Captain Jim Sidiongco, flight safety standards and inspectorate services chief, to determine if Cebu Pacific violated international safety standards.

Cusi said the CAAP also wants to know if the dance performance allows FAs to properly explain flight safety procedures to passengers.

Sidiongco believes that the airline is using the dancing FAs as a promotional and marketing gimmick.

He said they have talked to Cebu Pacific officials regarding plans to deploy inspectors who will watch the flight crew’s dance performance live.
http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/business/...airline-crew-0
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Old October 8th, 2010, 02:25 PM   #769
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PAL cabin crew union aborts strike preparations

PAL cabin crew union aborts strike preparations

By Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 09:15:00 10/08/2010

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine Airlines’ cabin crew union Thursday said it has aborted all its preparations for a strike after the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) took over the labor dispute at the Philippine Airlines.

In a phone interview, Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) vice president Andy Ortega said the union received a copy of the DoLE’s order by fax late on Wednesday afternoon.

He said FASAP’s strike vote that has been set next week has been cancelled. The strike was supposed to be held either in the last week of October or first week of November.

The DoLE on Wednesday formally assumed jurisdiction over the labor dispute between FASAP and the PAL management. The dispute stemmed from the unresolved deadlock in the collective bargaining agreement negotiations between the union and the management.

In a statement, FASAP said it “will respect the authority of Secretary (Rosalinda) Baldoz to assume jurisdiction of the dispute, adding “the fight is far from over,” referring to its demands for the company to scrap its allegedly unfair retirement age policy and discrimination against female flight attendants.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 04:47 AM   #770
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Cabin crew aspirants still flock PAL, says flag carrier

Cabin crew aspirants still flock PAL, says flag carrier

INQUIRER.net
First Posted 08:55:00 10/10/2010

MANILA, Philippines—Hundreds of aspiring cabin crew flock the recruitment offices of Philippine Airlines (PAL) every day in the hope of landing jobs in a company known for generous perks and travel opportunities, the flag carrier said in a statement in the midst of its labor woes.

"For the first nine months of the year, PAL received close to 20,000 job applications. Our Talent Acquisition, Management, and Retention Division accepts an average of 100 applicants a day. For August alone, a total of 3,520 applications were processed," said Jose S.L. Uybarreta, PAL vice president for Human Resources Development.

Of the total number of applicants, he said about half or 9,000 were seeking cabin crew positions. “PAL recently added two brand new ‘Extended Range’ Boeing 777-300s to its fleet of wide-body aircraft. This led to the promotion of senior cabin crew and opened the door for the hiring and training of new ones,” he said.

Judging from the daily influx of applicants, Uybarreta said he believes PAL’s current labor problems with its cabin crew union have not deterred fresh graduates from applying with Asia’s first airline.

The labor case between PAL and its cabin crew union, the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (Fasap), is currently undergoing arbitration before the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE). The negotiation is stalled at management’s offer of P105-million in increased salary and rice allowances, expanded maternity-related benefits, and extended retirement age of 45 from the original 40 for both male and female cabin crew. An assumption order by the labor secretary banned the union from staging a planned strike.

“PAL maintains a good and competitive track record when it comes to employee salaries and benefits. Hence, Fasap’s unfounded allegations of below-minimum wage pay and gender discrimination do not seem to hold water among aspiring crew members,” he stressed.

"If PAL is discriminating and/or abusing its cabin crew, applicants should outright be disillusioned from entering PAL. But many real-life success stories of our flight attendants fuel dreams of starting a flying career with PAL," said Uybarreta.

He added that fresh college graduates from exclusive schools are also enticed, not just by the prospect of flying to different local and foreign destinations, but also by PAL's generous package of allowances and benefits.

He advised applicants to prepare before submitting their applications. He said PAL implements a strict recruitment and screening process. Those who pass the pre-screening are subjected to a panel interview, then undergo a battery of tests, including a crucial medical exam.
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Old October 11th, 2010, 07:23 PM   #771
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Old October 12th, 2010, 05:51 AM   #772
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not a philippine stewardess nor is it a philippine carrier... it's chinese. the logo on the passenger seat! get it right!
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Old October 12th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #773
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Cebu Pacific partners with Flight Safety Foundation, CAAP, in hosting symposium on Air Safety
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MANILA, Oct. 11 (PNA) -- The low fare airline Cebu Pacific Air (CEB), together with the Flight Safety Foundation, Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines, and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) recently hosted an Air Safety Symposium at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel.

According to CEB Director for Flight Saftey, Capt. Felipe Timola Jr., the seminar aims to generate crucial air safety awareness, and contribute to the global effort to increase air safety.

"We consistently look for ways to improve all aspects of our Safety Management System within our airline. We are fortunate to participate and support this important safety initiative for the information of all aviation stakeholders," Timola said.

The joint initiative tackled improved ways to educate and address safety efforts for the aviation community, dealing with methods to reduce aircraft approach and landing accidents. This wass part of greater world wide to reduce instances of control flight into terrain; one of the biggest casual factors for aircraft accidents.

Speakers include subject matter experts and representatives from International Civil Aviation Organization, US Federal Aviation Administration, as well as industry experts, and aircraft Manufacturers Boeing and Airbus, among others.

For his part, CAAP Director General Alfonso Cusi said that they welcome the initiative of Cebu Pacific to promote Air Safety in the country.

"We welcome the efforts of Cebu Pacific Air to promote Air Safety in the country. Airlines and industry partners alike are bound to greatly benefit from world-wide best practices in aviation safety, with the help of the Flight Safety Foundation," Cusi added

Formed in 1947, the Flight Safety Foundation pursues continuous improvement of global aviation safety. It has members from 1,200 organizations, and individuals representing 150 countries

Meanwhile, the CAAP are ready for safety conduct audit of the European Union (EU) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in the airport of the Philippines.

Cusi said this month the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will come to the country to carry out audits to know safety must have to delete of the European travel ban of the Philippines.

It can be recalled that the European Union banned all Philippine-registered aircraft to fly in and out of the European airspace for commercial operation. This follows after the ICAO had issued “safety concerns” and the downgrading of the Federal Aviation Authority.

“We are doing our job to comply with the requirements. These are just the beginning and we will continue these until we regain credibility in the industry,” Cusi said.

The CAAP also agreed with the Technical Audit scheduled by the ICAO by the end of November 2010.

“We are ready for the technical audit” said Cusi.

In the final USOAP Audit report, it was stated that the CAAP’s Corrective Action Plan is 98% fully addressing and 2% partially addressing the audit findings.

“I would like to confirm that on the basis of evaluation carried out by the ICAO Continuous and Oversight (CMO) Section, the ICAO Consolidated Validated Mission (ICVM) has been scheduled…. In order to validate the status of compliance with the respective protocol questions (PQs) identified in the findings,” said a document transmitted to CAAP.

The scope of mission will be limited to the areas of legislation (LEG), organization (ORG), personnel licensing (PEL), aircraft operations (OPS), airworthiness (AIR) and the significant safety concern (SSC).

“We have been working hard for these, we are confident that we will have a possible lifting of the SSC within the year,” Cusi said.
http://www.pna.gov.ph/index.php?idn=...d=6&rid=305951
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Old October 12th, 2010, 02:13 PM   #774
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and also the outfit of the stewardess is much different from philippine airlines.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 02:22 PM   #775
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PAL union submits CBA draft

PAL union submits CBA draft

By Philip Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:48:00 10/09/2010

MANILA, Philippines—For the first time in 10 years, the ground crew labor union of Philippine Airlines has submitted a collective bargaining agreement proposal to the flag carrier’s management.

Gerry Rivera, Philippine Airlines Employees Association (Palea) president and concurrent vice chairperson of Partido ng Manggagawa, said PAL president Jaime Bautista himself received the proposal on Friday morning.

“This is a momentous event because for more than 10 years there have been no negotiations for the improvement of workers benefits,” Rivera said in a statement.

He said the PAL-Palea CBA was put on moratorium for 10 years in the wake of the bitter 1998 labor dispute that saw a pilots’ and ground crew strike, and the closure of the national flag carrier. The moratorium was extended for two more years under the term of previous union leaderships.

Rivera said the proposal submitted on Friday covers the years 2008 to 2013, saying that the CBA “should retroact to 2008 since the CBA moratorium was only for 10 years not 12.”

“We expect management to respond to our proposal and negotiate in good faith,” Rivera said.

He said the salient points of the CBA proposal include updating and upgrading of the pay scale of PAL employees.

“Too much wage distortion has been done to the pay scale so that there exists not only a severe contraction but to a certain extent an elimination of the quantitative differences between the job grades. We now aim to correct these distortions,” Rivera said.

He said the proposal retains but revises the provision of the old CBA prohibiting contracting out of existing positions, jobs, divisions and departments occupied by present or future regular employees. The proposal improves on the old by explicitly barring outsourcing.

“This particular provision protects job security and union representation. The planned mass layoff of some 3,000 PAL workers is illegal because of this CBA provision,” Rivera said.

He said the CBA proposal also contains provisions that enhance the retirement scheme.

“This is our way of saluting, recognizing and giving tribute to our loyal PAL workers and union members,” Rivera said.

PAL is concurrently negotiating a CBA with its flight crew. The negotiations have been deadlocked, however, on disputes over retirement age and gender discrimination. Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz has assumed jurisdiction over the case.

Baldoz has also assumed jurisdiction over the PAL-Palea row over the “mass lay off” of the airline’s workers.
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Old October 12th, 2010, 02:27 PM   #776
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyaks143 View Post
Philippine Stewardess
Even the person that Posted this is an escapee in a mental institution... Somebody need to catch this man before everything here in this website is infected with his insanity....
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Old October 12th, 2010, 02:27 PM   #777
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Most don't see global pilot shortage yet

Published October 11, 2010

Most don't see global pilot shortage yet
Recent pilot shortfall at Tiger, Philippine Airlines seen to be company specific

By VEN SREENIVASAN




In demand: Philippine Airlines pilots walk at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila. The airline cut dozens of domestic and international flights after dozens of its pilots quit

'We've got the stripes - guaranteed to fly everyday'.

Few would have missed the full page advertisement placed by AirAsia on Sunday's The Straits Times, showing a captain's shoulder epaulette.

It was clearly a dig at arch-rival Tiger Airways, which has been in the headlines recently for dozens of flight cancellations due to pilot shortages. Weeks earlier, Philippine Airlines (PAL) cut dozens of domestic and international flights after dozens of its pilots quit.

Meanwhile, advertisement for pilots have started appearing regularly in newspapers around the region.

So is there a shortage of pilots in the industry?

The answer really depends on who you ask.

Singapore Airlines insists that it has no pilot shortage.

'We do not have a shortage of pilots at the moment, and we are not hiring trained pilots,' said spokesman Nicholas Ionides. 'But we do conduct occasional exercises where we hire them depending on operational requirements. Our turnover rate of pilots has been consistently low over the years, and in general, we have also not had any issues that are worth noting in attracting applicants for pilot positions.'

SIA has some 2,300 pilots, and a pipeline of 300 trainee cadets.

AirAsia, despite its frantic growth, says that it has no pilot shortage issue (as if the message wasn't loud and clear enough in its advertisement). The airline often recruits pilot trainees from within its ranks of top cabin crew.

But that said, the strong recovery of air travel demand has prompted airlines to reinstate capacity and boost cockpit crew numbers.

Jetstar Asia, for instance, plans to recruit about 80 A320 pilots and another 40 pilots to command its fleet of long haul A330 fleet to be hubbed in Singapore. Even AirAsiaX - the long haul sister of the Malaysian budget airline - is seeking up to 60 pilots. Meanwhile, cash-rich Middle Eastern airlines have been quietly running recruitment drives, with offers of attractive packages which include family housing, schooling for kids and other perks for those who are willing to be based in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other bases in the region.

Yet, most industry insiders whom BT spoke to do not believe there is an acute global shortage of pilots. At least not yet.

'There was an emerging global pilot shortage projected in 2007,' said Captain P James, head of SIA's pilot union. 'But the crisis of 2008/09 delayed this.'

Indeed in 2007, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) warned that some 17,000 new pilots would be needed every year to fill cockpits, versus just 14,000 produced at the time.

'It is time to ring the warning bell . . . Pilot training has not changed in 60 years,' Iata boss Giovanni Bisignani warned.

Then came the travel demand slump in 2008, causing the industry to lose some US$27 million during the two years, ground planes and lay off pilots and cabin crew. Even SIA let go over 50 cargo pilots and slowed down the training for its cadets.

But the recovery, when it came, has returned with a fury. Travel demand has grown by some 10-15 per cent over the past year, and remains strong despite warnings of a flattening out.

'With the global recession, spiking oil prices and capacity cuts starting in 2008, the immediate worry about a crew shortage has waned,' noted Iata spokesman Albert Tjoeng. 'The industry lost two years of growth, but we are now about 3-4 per cent above pre-recession levels. With this growth, some concerns about a limited pool of professionals in aviation have returned.'

The potential pilot shortage is more a 'concern' than a 'reality', for now. While airlines are adding capacity, they are doing so judiciously, knowing that the industry can spiral down just as quickly as it recovered.

But what about the shortages at Tiger and PAL?

These are company specific, say industry insiders. In both cases - and to varying degrees - salaries, perks and labour disputes have been the causes.

Still, Roei Ganzarski, chief customer officer of Boeing Training & Flight Services, is surprised by the pace of the industry recovery.

'Things have flipped 180 degrees in just under two years,' he noted. 'We were caught offguard by the speed of the recovery.'

Boeing, in its latest Market Outlook, says that airlines will need 23,300 new pilots per year from 2010 to 2029. Meanwhile, the International Civil Aviation Organization reckons global carriers will need an average of 49,900 pilots a year from 2010 to 2030 as fleets expand, versus a current training capacity of only 47,025.

The largest demand for pilots will come from the Asia-Pacific, where 180,600 new pilots - or 40 per cent of worldwide demand - will be needed from now until 2019 to cater for annual traffic growth of 7.1 per cent.

Even then, Airbus's spokesman for Asia-Pacific, Sean Lee, does not see a huge demand-supply gap emerging: 'The world fleet of in-service aircraft will double over the next 20 years from just under 16,000 today to around 32,000. If you average this out, it means an increase of around 800 in-service aircraft per year. In absolute terms, the requirement for additional flight crew to operate the aircraft should be manageable, although this will need careful advance planning.'

So, an industry-wide shortage of pilots is still some way off.

That would be cold comfort to the folks at Tiger, which lost over 30 pilots - the cockpit crew for three A320s - recently.

But at the end of the day, a company's ability to retain and attract pilots depends on a variety of factors, including salary, benefits, working conditions, career advancement prospects and a ready pipeline of cadets. Most important, perhaps, is the industrial relations. As one wit put it, these are educated and opinionated people (often with big egos to boot!) who can get up and take their skills, literally, to any place in the world.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 07:12 AM   #778
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PAL scores victory against AWOL Pilot
Settles for 3.3M compensation claim

October 12, 2010

Philippine Airlines scored victory anew against its erring pilots when the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) ordered pilot Zenon Lukban, who went absent without leave (AWOL) to pay the flag carrier P1.5-million plus interest, at the rate of six percent annually, for training fees at the PAL aviation school and other penalties for violating his contractual obligations and training agreement with his employer in 2006.

Presiding Judge Elpidio Calis of the Makati RTC Branch 133 also ordered, in its September 15 decision, Zenon Lukban to reimburse PAL the amount of P1.87 million, plus interest, for the cost of training his replacement, as well as P50,000 in attorney’s fees.

Lukban’s training agreement with the airline required him to serve the flag carrier for five years in exchange for the cost of training paid for by PAL.

However, Lukban left the company two years after completing his training on April 19, 2006. His resignation was to take effect on May 20, 2006. On May 8, 2006, PAL management officially rejected Lukban’s resignation saying this was in violation of his training contract which was to expire on July 2009.

The agreement also required the pilot to file his notice of resignation 120 days before the intended date of resignation. This requirement has since changed to 180 days after the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) declared the job of pilots and aircraft mechanics as “mission critical skills.”


PAL is currently preparing a multi-million peso damage suits against 27 pilots and first officers who resigned in August 2010 to take higher-paying jobs in the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia. So far, 16 pilots and first officers are facing charges of abandonment of duty and breach of contract before a Makati Regional Trial Court.

The abrupt resignations from the pilots and firtst officers forced PAL to ground its airbus fleet of A320's and cancel some of its domestic flights last July.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 07:15 AM   #779
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PAL adds two more airplanes despite union’s strike threat
by Eric B. Apolonio and Jeremiah F. de Guzman



PHILIPPINE Airlines has added two extended-range Boeing 777-300s to its fleet, enabling it to promote senior cabin crew and to hire new people, the company said over the weekend.

Hundreds of aspiring cabin crew had been flocking to the carrier’s recruitment offices since the new positions were declared open, vice president Jose Uybarreta said.


“PAL maintains a good and competitive track record when it comes to employee salaries and benefits,” Uybarreta said

He said the accusations of low wages and gender discrimination by its cabin crew union had had no impact on the airline’s prospective recruits.

Nobody would want to join the airline if it were abusing or discriminating against its cabin crew, yet it continued to accept 100 applications a day, or close to 20,000 applications over the last nine months. About half of those were for cabin crew positions, Uybarreta said.

An ongoing dispute between management and the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines was placed before the Labor Department for arbitration after the workers threatened to strike toward the end of October.

In the recent mediation talks, the union rejected a management offer of P105 million for increases in salaries and allowances, expanded maternity benefits, and an increase in the retirement age to 45 from 40 for both male and female cabin crew, but on the condition the airline would be able to field mixed crews of both old and new workers.

A junior flight attendant who asked not to be identified said she hoped the union would accept the mixed-crew proposal, which would allow younger crew members to serve on international flights alongside their senior counterparts.

“After all, we are all crew members dreaming of better opportunities and pay,” she said. To reject mixed crews would be to discriminate against younger crew members, she said.

The union earlier said the retirement age of 45 was still “discriminatory” and should not carry any conditions. The economic package should be about P250 million so that the cabin crew’s collective bargaining agreement would be at par with the ground crew’s package.

As the government scrambled to prevent the labor dispute from disrupting Philippine Airlines’ services, foreign carriers warned they would relocate if the Philippines continued to charge what they viewed as excessive taxes.

The Board of Airline Representatives, whose members include 30 air carriers that have international connections from the Philippines, said the common carrier tax and gross Philippine billings were a disincentive for airlines to fly through Manila.

Group vice chairman Steven Crowdey said the US carrier Delta Airlines had already reduced its seating capacity over the taxes, replacing a B747-400 with a Boeing 777, or a reduction of 125 seats per flight.

Last month, Dutch carrier KLM also threatened to pull out of the country because of the common carrier tax. International air carriers used to be covered by a 3-percent common carrier tax, but they are now also subject to a 12-percent value added tax.

“The Philippines is the only country that charges such taxes,” Crowdey said.

“By contrast, neighboring countries’ airports and agencies often offer incentives for carriers to fly into them.”

Crowdey’s group says the carriers that have stopped flying into Manila are British Airways, Air France, United Airlines, Alitalia, Swiss International, Aeroflot, Garuda Indonesia, Egypt Air and Pakistan International Airlines.

Northwest Airlines and Lufthansa had also reduced flights and downgraded operations, Crowdey said.


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Old October 14th, 2010, 07:17 AM   #780
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Despite strike threat, job applicants swarm PAL
10/11/2010

Hundreds of aspiring cabin crew flock the recruitment offices of Philippine Airlines (PAL) everyday in the hope of landing jobs in a company known for generous perks and travel opportunities.

“For the first nine months of the year, PAL received close to 20,000 job applications. Our Talent Acquisition, Management and Retention Division accepts an average of 100 applicants a day. For August alone, a total of 3,520 applications were processed,” said Jose S.L. Uybarreta, PAL vice president for human resources development.


Of the total number of applicants, he said, about half or 9,000 were seeking cabin crew positions.

“PAL recently added two brand new ‘Extended Range’ Boeing 777-300s to its fleet of wide-body aircraft. This led to the promotion of senior cabin crew and opened the door for the hiring and training of new ones,” he said.

Judging from the daily influx of applicants, Uybarreta said he believes PAL’s current labor problems with its cabin crew union have not deterred fresh graduates from applying with Asia’s first airline.

The labor case between PAL and its cabin crew union — the Flight Attendants’ and Stewards’ Association of the Philippines (Fasap) — is currently undergoing arbitration before the Department of Labor and Employment.

This was after Fasap rejected management’s offer of P105 million in increased salary and rice allowances, expanded maternity-related benefits and extended retirement age of 45 from the original 40 for both male and female cabin crew. An assumption order by the Labor secretary banned the union from staging a planned strike.

“PAL maintains a good and competitive track record when it comes to employee salaries and benefits. Hence, Fasap’s unfounded allegations of below-minimum wage pay and gender discrimination do not seem to hold water among aspiring crew members,” he stressed.

“If PAL is discriminating and/or abusing its cabin crew, applicants should outright be disillusioned from entering PAL. But many real-life success stories of our flight attendants fuel dreams of starting a flying career with PAL,” said Uybarreta.

He added that fresh college graduates from exclusive schools are also enticed, not just by the prospect of flying to different local and foreign destinations, but also by PAL’s generous package of allowances and benefits, a picture totally opposite that painted by Fasap officials.
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