Monday, January 06, 2014

NUFAM plans picket over Malaysian Airline action to terminate/suspend Union President and members

See earlier posts:- ITUC makes it 43 groups calling on MAS to revoke suspension on Union president
Malaysian Airlines terminated the President of National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM), and now suspends 7 others

MAS, is a government-linked company, and what MAS is doing the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia, which include the sacking of its President and now suspension of 7 others is certainly a concern for all Malaysians, the Prime Minister and the government of Malaysia.

MAS Employees Union (MASEU) may have its issues with NUFAM, but they need to put their 'dispute' on hold, and come out strong against what this employer, MAS, is doing against a workers Union, its President and members. It is not unacceptable for MASEU, MTUC and other Unions to sit back silently and be seen to condone these 'union-busting' actions of MAS against NUFAM and its members. Workers and UNIONs must unite for the sake of worker and trade union rights. [To date MASEU has failed to make any public statement in support of the struggle of these terminated/suspended workers. Malaysian Trade Union Congress(MTUC), now under new leadership also needs to come out publicly condemning the actions of MAS and in support of NUFAM, irrespective of whether this Union is a member of MTUC or not, given the fact that MTUC represents all workers and unions in Malaysia - something that is recognised not just by Malaysia but also the ILO.] 

Employers should never resort to termination and 'suspension' of worker/union leaders as a means of resolving disputes. Workers terminated are deprived income and it affects these workers and their families, and certainly it is most unjust for employers, especially a government linked employer like MAS, to use when there is a dispute. The right approach is negotiations towards a resolution of issues. MAS should immediately reinstate those they terminated and withdraw all 'suspensions', and sit down and try to settle this matter amicably and justly. 

2014 is the Visit Malaysia Year, and what MAS is doing is an embarrassment to Malaysia and all Malaysians...MAS should be setting the example for what a good employer should be, i.e. one that respects human rights and worker rights - but here it is not. Allegedly, the President of NUFAM was terminated without even a DOMESTIC INQUIRY - and that is a fundamental violation of rights. 

Union threatens action against MAS over ‘illegal’ suspension of seven 

BY MELISSA CHI and IDA LIM December 18, 2013
NUFAM President Ismail Nasaruddin holding a press conference at Kayu Nasi Kandar,USJ Taipan 10. — Picture by Saw Siow FengNUFAM President Ismail Nasaruddin holding a press conference at Kayu Nasi Kandar,USJ Taipan 10. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 — A union representing the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) cabin crew threatened legal action today against the national flag carrier for allegedly suspending seven members for criticising their work conditions on Facebook.

In a statement here, the newly-formed National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) called the suspension “unlawful”, pointing out that the comments were made on its private Facebook forum and did not warrant such drastic punishment against the seven.

The union also claimed that this was part of MAS’s continued “war” against it, and urged the Human Resources Ministry to investigate the carrier, accusing it of deliberately snubbing its activities.

“MAS have become to bold and acted arrogantly using high handed tactics to suspend and threatened the National Union members.

“The members were accused for posting comments in a close Facebook forum belonging to the Union which MAS is no party or member to this close group forum,” Nufam said in a press statement today.

“MAS does not have any liberty to control the members who have expressed dissatisfaction over the working conditions in the airline,” the union continued.

In a letter demanding the release of the seven yesterday, Nufam secretariat member Wan Adli accused MAS of acting beyond its powers by ordering the suspension.

“MAS appears to wage war against our trade union members and we will not hesitate to call for industrial action if MAS prevails this form of threats and tactics against our members.

“MAS have again acted beyond their provisions as a GLC company against the National Union members suspending seven of its crew members for the last several weeks,” he wrote.

The union, which was recognised by the Director-General of Trade Unions on August 2, has also urged the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) to investigate discrimination issues and violation of human rights and trade union laws in MAS.

MAS should adhere to the industrial laws and settle issues with Nufam quickly and not “become greater bullies” against its members as well as the carrier’s frontliners, Wan Adli said.

A MAS media relations spokesman declined comment when queried by The Malay Mail Online, saying in an email this afternoon that the matter is an internal one and would not be discussed in public.

Earlier this month, Nufam threatened to picket over the national carrier’s refusal to the acknowledge the union and the firing of its president.

Chief steward and Nufam president Ismail Nasaruddin was sacked on November 29, after previously being suspended over his call for MAS chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya to resign, triggering allegations of union busting.

He had also accused MAS Employees Union (Maseu) of being ineffective in voicing out concerns and fighting for the rights of its cabin crew members, who claim to have been sidelined for years, compared to their colleagues.

“We may take an industrial action against MAS by calling for a picket, on the 27 and 28 of this month, tentatively.

“It all depends if MAS is still arrogant enough to not call this meeting, then it leaves no choice to the national union to do what it needs to do, to call for a picket, which is accordance to our industrial law,” Ismail told reporters on December 5, after a meeting between Nufam, MAS and the ministry was postponed indefinitely.

He also said the union’s lawyers had suggested that it take the right steps to resolve its many complaints against the airline.

“Which is to file a violation of industrial relations act, that would be the first.

“The second would be submission of my registering of complaint to the industrial relations, which is under section 20 as an employee.

“Thirdly, of course there is going to be legal recourse which I would not express right now, but on a later date,” he said.

Ismail, who had been with the airline for the last 25 years, said a directive from the Human Resource Ministry on September 23 had stated that Maseu can no longer represent cabin crews as it has recognised Nufam as the only union to represent the airline’s cabin crew.

Despite the order, Maseu and Nufam remain locked in a tussle over which of the two represented the cabin crew members from the airlines. There are about 3,500 cabin crew members in MAS and Nufam represents about 1,500.

MAS reported a net loss of RM176 million for the second quarter of 2013 financial year, against RM349.2 million in the same period last year, despite an increase in revenue from RM3.3 billion to RM3.8 billion. - The Malay Mail, 18/12/2013, Union threatens action against MAS over ‘illegal’ suspension of seven

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