Thursday, December 04, 2014

Group of 24 wants MAS Bill scrapped (FMT)

Group of 24 wants MAS Bill scrapped
Suresh Kashuerin

| December 3, 2014

The fear is that MAB, the new company, is a “union-busting” exercise and will not employ all MAS employees once the latter ceases to exist.

KUALA LUMPUR: Twenty four organisations, groups and trade unions have called in a joint statement for the new MAS Bill to be scrapped. The statement described the Bill as a “union-busting exercise” which MPs did not have enough time to consider and is now already in Senate.

The Group of 24, represented by Charles Hector, Mohd Roszeli bin Majid and Pranom Somwong, demanded in the statement that the Government take immediate steps to implement three steps which they have formulated.

For starters, they want the immediate suspension of the process of making the Malaysian Airline System Berhad (Administration) Bill 2014 into law, or the putting into force of this Act, until all matters concerning the rights, future employment security, well-being and livelihood of the about 20,000 employees of MAS and their family is resolved and provided for.

“The future of the existing employee trade unions and rights must also be resolved,” said the trio from the Group of 24.

Secondly, that the Malaysian government respect and make worker and trade union rights a priority in this exercise to try to save the national carrier, MAS.

“The employees cannot be blamed for poor management that has put MAS in this financial predicament,” said the trio.

They did not address the issue of MAS unions being against the Air Asia-MAS Collaboration Agreement to save the latter from going under. The Agreement was reportedly terminated before the last General Election after the ruling Barisan Nasional feared that MAS unions, who claimed that MAS was a “Malay” company, would vote against it.

Thirdly, the Group of 24, wants the Malaysian government to guarantee that the right to regular employment until retirement will not be sacrificed “in favour of precarious employment relationship and practices to the detriment of workers, and their unions in this process of saving the national carrier”.

“We may have no objections to MAS and its subsidiaries being taken over by the Malaysian government, or vide a government owned legal entity provided that the rights of the workers and their trade unions are respected and preserved,” the Group of 24 hastened to add.

“The current Bill, however, seems to totally disregard the rights and welfare of existing employees of MAS and its subsidiaries, or their unions.”

Workers, unlike assets, cannot be transferred from one legal entity to another new legal entity, the statement noted.

All the employees of MAS will naturally be terminated when the present MAS ceases to exist, the statement pointed out, and the Bill is silent on whether the new entity, Malaysian Airlines Berhad (MAB), will employ all MAS employees without loss of tenure and benefits or will they be abandoned.

The Group of 24 fears that the Bill, as it stands, will see the end of all trade unions of current employees of MAS, mostly in-house unions of MAS employees, and also the end of enforceability of all collective bargaining agreements(CBA) with MAS.- FMT, 3/12/2014, Group of 24 wants MAS Bill scrapped

See earlier post: Now 34 groups have endorsed this statement
Malaysian Airlines(MAS) Employees and Trade Union Rights at risk by new law being rushed through

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