Philippine president allays public fears caused by possible PAL strike

20:16, September 10, 2010      

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Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Friday assured that a possible strike by the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP), one of the labor unions of the Philippine Airlines, will not cause disruption of services in the airline industry.

Aquino, in an interview, allayed fears caused by FASAP's filing of a notice of strike.

He said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz is appealing to FASAP not to go on strike.

"I appeal both sides (PAL management and labor) to go to the bargaining table with the end in view of achieving that agreement, " he said.

He said Baldoz will issue a return to work order if FASAP goes on strike, on the ground that they belong to an industry that is " imbued with national interest."

Aquino said he has ordered Transportation Secretary Jose de Jesus and Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. to prepare a contingency measure in case PAL would be crippled by a strike by FASAP.

He said the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines has given a notice to other airlines of the potential slots that they will be given to replace the slots that PAL will not be servicing in case of a strike.

He said he has also ordered the fast tracking of the review on the possible implementation of an open skies policy.

"If it is necessary, we will do it to minimize disruption to riding public ... At the end of the day, I guarantee you, we will not sacrifice the public interest and if I am to choose between PAL and the Filipino people, I think the choice is obvious. So I have to remind them of that," he added.

Source: Xinhua


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