DOLE Secretary Baldoz decision on FASAP-PAL case

A Philippine Airlines Boeing 747-400 taxiing a...Image via Wikipedia
An April 1, 2011 press release prepared by the Department of Labor and Employment
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary  Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday issued an order affirming, with modification, an earlier decision that resolved the labor dispute  between the  Flight Attendants and Stewardess Association of the Philippines(FASAP) and the Philippine Airlines (PAL).
The order denied the Motion for Partial Reconsideration which PAL filed with the DOLE Secretary on 07 January 2011, assailing the decision issued on 23 December 2010 that resolved the bargaining deadlock between the two parties.
The decision subject of the Motion for Reconsideration, among others, granted to 1,542 FASAP members the following:
(a)   Compulsory retirement age for all FASAP members at sixty (60) years old; (b)  Two pregnancy leaves for a maximum of seven months for each leave, to be credited in computing the length of service for retirement, 13th month pay, Christmas bonus, rice allowance, and trip passes;
(c)  Maternity leaves for a maximum of four deliveries already being enjoyed shall likewise be credited in computing the length of service for retirement, 13th month pay, Christmas bonus, rice allowance, and trip passes;
(d)  Prospective application of pregnancy and maternity leave crediting; (e)  Grant of monthly rice allowance in the amount of P1,800 for the period covering 16 July 2007 to 15 July 2010, estimated at P25 million; and (f)  Grant of three-year salary increases estimated at over P200 million.
The only issues raised by PAL in its MR are the wage package and the retirement age.
In her decision, Baldoz stated that there was no sufficient reason to disturb the salary package earlier awarded to FASAP as PAL’s financial capability is sound as shown by its financial statements and auditor’s report.
Also affirmed was the retirement age at 60 for all FASAP members. Baldoz declared that “the Philippine Constitution and international laws should compel us to ensure equal work opportunities at the workplace irrespective of age, gender, or sex.”
However, Baldoz reduced the rice allowance from P1,800 to P1,500 for the first year of the parties’ CBA to conform with  the rice allowance for the other employee groups.
The Order also took into consideration the nine (9) flight pursers who, during the pendency of the Motion for Reconsideration, were retired by PAL when they reached age 55. Declaring the separation to be in disregard of the Decision, Baldoz ordered their immediate reinstatement without loss of seniority rights and the payment of their backwages from the time they were retired up to the time of their actual reinstatement.