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Philippine flight attendants announce strike

Flight attendants employed by Philippine Airlines announced their intention to stage a strike

Manila: Flight attendants employed by Philippine Airlines (PAL), on Thursday, announced their intention to stage a strike.

The Flight Attendants and Stewards of the Philippines (FASAP) said in a press conference, that they were going ahead with the planned strike, following a breakdown in negotiations between the flight crew union and PAL management.

The flight attendants union had been calling on PAL management to raise the age cap for female flight attendants from the current 40-45 years, to 60 years old.

“PAL should adapt with the times and abandon its outdated sexist policies against flight attendants,” Bob Arquiza, president of FASAP said.

FASAP also demanded that the airline abandon a policy which refuses to give paid maternity leave to flight stewardesses.

"What PAL is not saying is that they want younger and prettier flight attendants because of the outmoded stereotyping of treating them as sex objects. It’s plain sexism and age discrimination. It's the 'beer house' mentality of lusting for young and pretty girls as cocktail waitresses," he added.

A PAL flight attendant told Gulf News in an email that following the announcement of the strike, the FASAP would observe a 30-day ‘cooling off’ period in the hope that a compromise could be reached.

“If nothing happens during the 30-day period, the members of the FASAP will hold a vote to proceed with a strike,” she said. “We’re looking at end of October to hold the strike if nothing happens.”

PAL conducts at least 30 domestic and 20 international flights everyday and a strike by FASAP could bring its operations to a stand still.