On Injunction vs PAL’s gender-biased retirement policy

Senator Pia S. Cayetano today hailed a Makati City court ruling stopping Philippine Airlines (PAL) from carrying on a controversial labor policy which sets a younger mandatory retirement age for its female flight attendants.

“I laud the decision of the court to put an end to PAL’s gender-based mandatory retirement age policy which clearly discriminates against its women cabin crew,” said Cayetano, in reaction to the writ of preliminary injunction issued against PAL management by Judge Oscar Pimentel of the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 148.

Cayetano, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations, earlier slammed the flag carrier for “gender discrimination” in insisting on a provision in its Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which sets the retirement age for women flight attendants at 55 years old, and their male counterparts at 60 years old.

The CBA provision reportedly covers some 600 female flight attendants hired by the airlines before November 2006, according to the Flight Attendants and Stewardess Association of the Philippines (FASAP).

“The court decision is both relevant and timely, coming on the heels of the labor woes in PAL which remain unsolved,” she added.

“Policies that espouse gender discrimination belong to the dark ages and have no place in modern Philippine society. Let alone in PAL, which, for all intents and purposes, is a national symbol and a mirror of our nation, being our flag carrier.”

“I hope the ruling prompts PAL management to scrap other reported discriminatory and unfair labor policies that have been the subject of grievance by its employees.”

These include a separate retirement policy requiring both male and female flight attendants hired from 1996 to 2000 to retire at 40 years old, and those hired from 2000-beyond at 45 years old.

“The court decision is a victory not only for the flight attendants but for all women in general,” she declared.

“But the battle against gender discrimination is still far from over. There are still many laws that we need to amend or repeal in Congress.”

Cayetano recently filed Philippine Senate Resolution No. 64 which seeks to conduct a review of existing laws which are biased against women, and as such, should be amended or repealed pursuant to the Magna Carta of Women, which seeks to end all forms of gender-based discrimination.

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