Thursday ∗ 04 Nov 2010

Lucio Tan wins again? (DOLE naman!)

or why that San Mig Light will taste infinitely better now

because in whose mind would it be normal and rational, just and fair, to lay off 2,600 employees favouring one of the richest Filipinos of 2009. really, now. Lucio Tan’s net worth then was at $1.7 billion dollars. that’s P78 BILLION PESOS. This year, he’s second richest in the land, with a net worth of  $2.1 billion dollars, that’s close to P90 BILLION PESOS (89.67 to be exact).

at ayon sa DOLE, kawawa naman ang mayaman ano, kase babagsak na ang business niya, kaya ayan, tanggalin na lang natin ang mga manggagawa niya!

This is also a man whose tax evasion cases were dismissed on a technicality during Erap’s time – Tan was a crony of Erap’s and earlier of Marcos. It explains, doesn’t it, how he got away with evading taxes that amounted to P25 billion pesos in 2005, which in 2000 was estimated to be at P25.27 billion (yes, I refuse to let go of that .27 billion).

i know i digress, here, but i think this digression points to the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) inability to see Tan as bigger than his current oppression of workers in Philippine Airlines. it points to how DOLE in fact seems to be treating Tan as its very own crony, siding from the beginning with PAL, even having meetings with its officials, as if it is PAL that is aggrieved in this situation.

let’s be clear here: we should feel no pity – at all – for Tan and his PAL management. they are not the oppressed here. and if you think otherwise, you should read up. or maybe try being an employee for once, and then talk to me about oppression.

because oppression is when you’re issued a gag order that disallows you to talk about your salary – not because it’s big mind you, but because it’s lower than most other pilots. in August, 27 pilots resigned because wanted better wages. but this resignation was also about taking a stand against the way they were being treated by Tan and PAL management.

before this, 11 co-pilots had been forced to resign by PAL management because they wanted these pilots to fly planes under Air Philippines and Aero Filipinas – both owned by Tan. the point? these pilots would be hired as contractual employees, which means their wages would be cut in half, low as it already is in PAL.

as bad as this kind of treatment? some pilots aren’t forced to resign, but they are forced to take on flights for Air Philippines on top of the flights they do for PAL. that’s being employee in two companies! correction, that’s forced employment in two companies both owned by he who is called the “most notorious crony capitalist” Tan.

and no, this isn’t just about the pilots. flights have been undermanned, which can only mean overworked flight attendants with the same pay.  female flight attendants are also being force to retire at 40, versus 60 for male employees; a maternity leave also means no pay and no benefits. ground  crew also hear of their impending forced resignations in order to be re-hired on a contractual basis in Tan’s various spin-off companies.

but it can only get worse. Tan and PAL management did want to work on these spin-off companies so they might gain more profit, but this wasn’t in the form of hiring old workers on a contractual basis; it was to outsource employment which makes imperative the termination of 2,600 workers.

this is what’s in the news at this point, the DOLE decision being released as it was on November 1. the irony would be nice were it not tragic, too. and just reason for anger.

you ask why didn’t PAL employees hold a strike earlier? why did they wait for things to be so bad, to come to a head, to pile up like this? a history lesson might be in order:  12 years ago in retaliation against striking workers, the PAL management terminated 600 pilots and almost 2,000 members of the cabin crew. and yes, that case of wrongful termination is still in our courts.

so you see, Lucio Tan has gotten away with murder in this country, in so many ways, and too many times. governments have let him kill, time and again.

it might be good to remind PNoy that his mother, seeing as she is always invoked by him and his sisters, never dealt with Lucio Tan – in fact Cory was seen as hostile towards Tan, thank goodness.

and just in case this isn’t enough to convince PNoy that his delegation of this job has fallen on horrible hands. read the DOLE’s justification of its decision, it’s so naive – or maybe just blind – to the workings of a capitalist empire like the one Lucio Tan’s creating for himself. DOLE believed PAL when the latter said it has been suffering financially the past two years, though a look at PAL’s own milestones shows that it has done nothing in the past two years but to acquire and to expand. it sure doesn’t look like a business that’s suffering. Cebu Pacific might have beaten it already, but that doesn’t mean it’s in the red.

oh and just so you know, in 1998 PAL also used as excuse financial difficulties to defend its downsizing of operations and termination of employees. but too, maybe all it takes is to imagine how far Lucio Tan’s money – the one that’s declared in and everything else extraneous to those richest man in the Philippines numbers – could go into spending on PAL employees’ wages or just making lives better all around.

but too, there’s an even easier question to ask: if Lucio Tan is second richest man in this country, howthef*#@! can the same man have a business that’s going under?


Posted in: aktibismo, bayan, gobyerno, inuman, kalalakihan, kapitalista, komentaryo, produkto

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6 Comments/Pingbacks

  1. @KamaoNiPalparan
    September 30, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Has anyone considered that Lucio Tan has NEVER made money yet on PAL and has poured and lost billions trying to make this airline finally profitable? Think of the saved taxpayer money that Tan has saved the Filipino taxpayer when he bought PAL from gov’t and now he is a villain for trying to restructure PAL’s cost structure via outsourcing as he tries to turn this private airline into profitability?

    Also PALEA is mistaking PAL for a charity organization or a gov’t make-work program.

  2. someone from the inside
    September 30, 2011 at 11:27 am

    correction: it’s 11 captains and 7 co-pilots. (re: before this, 11 co-pilots had been forced to resign by PAL management because they wanted these pilots to fly planes under Air Philippines and Aero Filipinas – both owned by Tan. the point? these pilots would be hired as contractual employees, which means their wages would be cut in half, low as it already is in PAL.)

  3. someone from the inside
    September 30, 2011 at 11:28 am

    and yes, for a time, their pay over in air philippines was less than half of what they were receiving in pal.

  4. Aretheaus O. Lopez
    September 30, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I can see this issue a very sensitive subject. But arguing the wealth of Mr. Tan in relation with downsize of PAL employees is totally irrelevant. Sure his business is still growing and that is how should a well run business organization works; and making profit margin is always the key to survive in a world of capitalism. Has anyone scene any organizations grow with a (DTI) Debt to Income ratio of 1, worse yet negative. However, PAL employees will never get this idea because all they have is salary base concept mind. They don’t care about budget cost expenditures or if the company is going to bankruptcy as long the salary wage still flowing in their pockets they could careless. And if business plummeted, employees will just move on to another industry where demand is needed. So who is being greedy now? So leave all the risk to the employers and drain their capital assets to brink of extinction to employee wages/benefits/pension plans while on the other hand employees would just flee to another sectors once goes sour. Is these what this article implying? Where is the loyalty and dedication to their employers? Has anyone seen any employee unions or associations took a voluntary salary wage/benefit cuts just to save the business. NONE! I see it as parasitic like tic attitude. So when the employers (like PAL) start cutting costs in order to save it, employees sees it as a “Opportunista” or better yet on their term “Oppression” against employees and humanity. Come on!!! Charity organizations and religion institution even runs as a profitable business. Every country runs by government and parliament run as business concept. Take United State of America as example, most of their “Big Fortune 500” companies outsourced their works because hiring employees or manufacturing in the states is so expensive now. Too much employee benefits/ unnecessary health care demands/ insurances etc, which is almost unprecedented. So what does employers do “OUTSOURCING” for better outcome.

    If there are questions to ask to the author advocating the PAL employees concerns, since you’re so compassionate about it, what have you done to save these people? Is their fund raising campaign to compensate the loss wages/benefits of the PAL employees during their strike? Because of their selfish act what have they done to compensate loss of services to the people who trusted choosing PAL for their means of transportation to their family? I am open for redirect.

  5. Careless Whisperer
    September 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Aretheaus O. Lopez, you make a great point: “Has anyone seen any employee unions or associations took a voluntary salary wage/benefit cuts just to save the business.” Since PALEA is locked in to the fortunes of PAL and if they really care to turn around the fortunes of PAL, should they not do their part saying “We’ll take a pay cut if PAL management takes a pay cut to help turn PAL profitable.” But what do they do? Strike! Complain! Threaten! The socialists/leftists of this country will pull this nation down to the toilet!!! F**k the unions!!!

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