CRIMINAL CHARGES were filed yesterday before the Pasay City Prosecutor Office against 41 airline labor union members who staged a strike last month, the Philippine Airlines (PAL) said in a statement.
“PAL [on] Nov. 9 filed criminal complaints for grave coercion against 41 members of the PAL Employees Association (PALEA) over an incident on Oct. 29 when rowdy protesters harassed airline staff and service providers,” PAL said.
The “harassment” prevented the vehicles, which were carrying in-flight meals, from leaving company premises, PAL added.
“[T]he requisite elements of grave coercion were present during the Oct. 29 incident: violation of the law, presence of violence/threat/intimidation, and protesters had no authority to block the truck,” the complaint read, according to PAL.
The flag carrier has a labor dispute with PALEA, members of which are former ground workers from PAL’s airport services, catering services, and call center reservations.
The dispute was a result of PAL’s outsourcing program that laid off some 2,500 ground employees. PAL was forced to roll out its spin-off program on Sept. 27 after some PALEA members stopped working instead of the planned Oct. 1 implementation.
As PALEA members have continued their protest near PAL’s Inflight Center, PAL said vehicles passing through the facility have been subjected to harassment from the former employees.
“The level of bullying increased to the point where PAL was forced to deploy security cordons…,” PAL said.