Exasperated by its cabin crew union's propaganda, Philippine Airlines (PAL) today said its flight attendants are well paid and receive some of the best benefits that are the envy of other Filipino workers.
PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said officers of the Flight Attendants and Stewards Association of the Philippines (FASAP) have not been forthright in informing the public of the real salaries and benefits that the PAL cabin crew receives.
"FASAP claims their basic pay is below the government set minimum wage, but this is just a portion of their salary. The truth is they receive much, much more," she said.
The actual gross monthly pay of a PAL cabin crew, Villaluna said, ranges from P33,000 to P75,000, inclusive of productivity pay and other allowances.
"A domestic crew earns between P34,619 to P37,619 per month, including productivity pay, transportation allowance and rice allocation. An international cabin attendant receives P50,741 to P60,136, while a flight purser gets P67,880 to P73,570," Villaluna said.
She stressed that while this salary range may be modest compared to the payscale of giant carriers abroad, this is no small amount by Philippine standards. Hence, claims that PAL cabin crew are overworked and underpaid are not true.
Villaluna said their total pay is composed of the basic salary plus the following:
• Per diem
o when staying overnight at an international destination ($45-$70)
o when on a technical stop ($100)
o for every regional turnaround flight ($20)
o for every domestic flight (P185)
• additional pay for every hour in excess of their tour of duty ($50 + $20 for
international flights, P1,250 per hour for domestic)
• first-class hotel accommodation at domestic and international stations
• transportation allowance (or free pick-up from/to residence)
• free meals in flight and on ground
• crew shuttle to/from airport
• thermal clothing allowance (twice a year)
• shoe allowance – P1,200 for male, P800 for female (twice a year)
• uniform allowance – from P11,022 to P16,376 (every 18 months)
• suitcase – costs from P1,563 to P3,647 (replaced every 2 years)
• complete medical and dental coverage for cabin crew and their qualified
• 13th & 14th month pay
• unused days off converted to cash
• unused sick leave converted to cash
• perfect attendance award – equivalent to one month pay + per diem
• retirement benefits – 1.5 month for every year of service
"All this time FASAP has been presenting to the public and the government a picture that is totally opposite reality. FASAP is free to show proof if the wages and benefits we have just revealed are not true," Villaluna said.
PAL also urged FASAP to be truthful in presenting to the public the significant highlights of the four conciliation meetings brokered by the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB).
"Instead of alarming our passengers with threats of strike, FASAP should at least disclose the exchange of proposals and counter-offers to show who was taking a hardline position during the conciliation meetings," said Villaluna.
PAL's offer of P80-million in additional salary plus P25 million in rice allowance (total of P105 million), change in retirement age to 45 (from 40) and increase in the cabin crew's maternity benefits were rejected by FASAP who insisted on their original positions before unilaterally declaring a deadlock in the negotiations.