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Cebu Pacific flight attendants’ union pushes for agreement with management

April 20, 2019

QUEZON CITY – Millennial Cebu Pacific airline cabin crew and flight attendants are now preparing for the terms and conditions that they are going to negotiate with the management following a landslide ‘yes to union’ ballot turnout Tuesday, April 16th.

Promising Cebu Pacific Air Inc. cabin crews and flight attendants union the Juan Wing Regular Cabin Crews of the Philippines voted for the Associated Labor Unions (ALU), the country’s biggest labor federation, as their sole and exclusive bargaining agent at the turnout of ballot count Tuesday, April 16, upon supervision by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Final tally showed that out of the 1,135 crews and attendants who cast their votes, 1,124 employees voted ‘yes to union’, 3 voted ‘no’ while 8 ballots were declared by DOLE as spoiled. Overseen by DOLE regional officers, the elections among the employees were held on April 1 to 5 at Manila, Cebu, Clark and Iloilo airport terminals.

“With this certification, the next procedure is for members of the union to discuss among themselves what are the terms agreements of security of tenure, wages and benefits etc. that they intend to offer and negotiate with Cebu Pacific Air Inc. Management,” said Raymond Mendoza, President of the country’s biggest workers’ group the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP).

“The union will negotiate for better wages and benefits, better working conditions, and better terms under the existing labor policies and regulations to improve co-employees synergy and improve working climate that would benefit the interest of both the union members and the management,” Mendoza said.

Aside from this, other possible areas for negotiation between union and management are the responsibilities of the parties, hours of work, leave benefits, health and dental benefits, incentives, and other forms of benefits such professional development benefits, and promotion of industrial harmony.

Mendoza said the aspiration of the cabin crews and flight attendants to form a union went through the legal step by step process mandated by the Labor Code and other labor regulations.

"The TUCP family of labor federations congratulates all members of the Juan Wing for sustaining their united struggle to form a union and for recognizing the TUCP's biggest affiliate ALU as their sole and exclusive bargaining agent. These Juan Wing members possessed a unique brand of principled young unionism and are professional, intelligent and diligent workers eager to make a difference in their career and for the company – a clear asset to the management of Cebu Pacific Air Inc. and a very welcome addition to the labor movement," said Mendoza.

For his part, ALU National executive Vice President Gerard Seno said they were overwhelmed by the strong determination of the young workers to form a union in this day and age when unionism is a hard sell.

“Congratulations to all Juan Wing Regular Cabin Crews of the Philippines-ALU! With the overwhelming 'yes to union' turnout today, each one of you have just demonstrated to the world – with boldness – how determined all of you to come together in achieving and creating genuine power for Juan Wing,” Seno said.

“This unique brand of unity that young workers from Juan Wing expressed together is a timely infusion of a much needed young unionists to the larger struggle of the Philippine labor movement to be relevant amid globalization and the rampant incidence of modern-day abuse and slavery among Filipino workers,” Seno said.

Meanwhile, ALU National President Michael Mendoza said: “this resplendent 'yes to union' victory that happened is also one of the beautiful gifts to happen to Juan Wing mother labor federation, the country's biggest labor unions the ALU as it renews its vows in being the forefront in promoting and advancing the workers’ rights and welfare in celebrating its 65 years founding anniversary on April 17th.”

Mendoza also said the ALU hopes that the unionization of Cebu Pacific cabin crews and flight attendants would embolden other young working people to organize and protect themselves in the face of additional and emerging forms of challenges in the world of work such as artificial intelligence, work from home and telecommuting scheme and freelancing.

“This rare display of young generation power coming together to create bigger power must be sustained and nurtured by Juan Wing as they strive on to the various challenges of achieving its full realization as a union. We will do our part for Juan Wing to grow and impact other young workers to organize as a union,” Mendoza said.

With the affiliation of Juan Wing union into its fold, the ALU bolstered its position as the biggest labor federation in the country by managing a diverse range of local unions and collective bargaining agreements in air, land and sea transport sector, banking, mining, garment, electronics, hotel and restaurant, construction, media, logistics, food and condiments, tobacco, banana, and pineapple.