Sunday, March 08, 2015

MAS Employees - Terminated, Termination Benefits, LIFO, Unions?

With regard to employees of MAS, I believe that:-

1- All of them will be terminated by MAS (Why? End of the day will see Malaysian Airlines System Berhad, the current operator of the airlines cease to exist - and so all MAS employees will lose their current jobs) - and they will be offered employment by the new company that will be taking over the operation of Malaysian Airlines, save for about 6,000. 

2- Who will be offered employment is a big question. Normally, when an employer wants to reduce employees due to some good reason, the operative principle is 'Last In First Out'[LIFO] - Will this be happening? Note older employees who have been loyal to the airlines would also find it more difficult to find 'new' jobs - and loyalty should be rewarded. Skills - well that was the obligation of the employer to impart so that employees over the years will have all the latest knowledge and required skills.

3-  Human beings are not commodity. They cannot be 'transferred' from one employer to another. They must be terminated by the first employer first - and hence they would be entitled to termination or lay-off benefits. Will all the workers of MAS when they get terminated by MAS receive termination benefits or maybe even a better 'thank you for your services' package? No mention of this....

4 - The new employer could as part of the benefits offered could include a clause that guarantees no loss of seniority, and also that 'the said worker would be deemed to have worked in the new company from the date that he started to work in MAS. The 2nd benefit will enable the worker to a higher entitlement to possibly annual leave, sick leave, etc...and more importantly a higher 'termination benefit' if he or she is later laid off by the new company.

5 - 6,000 won't be re-employed. Why don't the new employer leave this to the workers - or their unions. Let the unions meet with their membership, and let them submit a list of their members who choose not to be re-employed, and maybe also the quantum of the 'termination benefit/package'. Let there be negotiations with the unions.

6 - Save for NUFAM(National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia), there was a rather disturbing silence of or lack of response from the other unions that represent MAS employees. MASEU just came out with a statement as reported on 3/3/2015 (see report below). MAS employee unions should have been very vocal and fighting hard for their members' rights but... (maybe they were doing this behind closed doors and 'secretly')

7 - Did any of these Unions call for Emergency General Meeting(EGM) - to enable all members to come together and discuss their cause of action, etc... Surely, the impending loss of employment of all in MAS or the loss of jobs for 6.000 was a serious issue that would have warranted the calling of an EGM? Did the members of the Union push for an EGM? Why? Is there a severe loss of faith in unions and worker solidarity? Were employees just to afraid to 'stand up' worrying about the risks to their future employment security with the airlines?

When Anwar Ibrahim was 'sacked' from the BN government, he fought - and fought. But, sadly workers in MAS generally seem to have just 'given up'...Whatever happens happens.... what can we do? Has workers just lost the will to fight? Is it indicative of the state of the labour movement in Malaysia?

See also:-

MTUC and 36 Groups concerned about all MAS employees loss of employment...

Drastic cuts to fly high again

by b.k. sidhu

PETALING JAYA: The big cuts at Malaysia Airlines (MAS) have started.

It began with the most controversial contract, the 25-year RM6.25bil in-flight catering contract with Brahim’s Holdings Bhd.

But there are even bigger contracts among the over 4,000 that are being reviewed to bring the supply contract pricing to industry benchmarks.

The big move to MAS’ new headquarters at KLIA from Subang will begin on April 1, where at least 1,300 of its employees will be relocated in stages.

The current MAS will cease to operate by June 30 and its operations will be migrated to a new airline, Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB), which starts on July 1.

Its new chief executive officer, Christoph Mueller (pic), formerly CEO of Aer Lingus, clocked in his first day at work yesterday.

He came in early to MAS and was said to have been busy attending several meetings with the restructuring team and ma­nagement teams.

The new airline will have 10% less capacity and will focus on profitable domestic and regional routes.

“A review on the planned big job cuts is needed since the new MAS plans to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 5% per year till 2020, then it would need people to drive the operations.

“So they may not have the need to cut the 6,000 planned,” said an aviation executive.

Shaving 6,000 jobs from its 20,000-strong workforce is part of the recovery plan announced late last year.

This month, the selection of employees for the new airline will be made and they will be issued termination letters from MAS and appointment letters under new terms and conditions for the new airline.

Those being axed will be given termination letters and possibly a separation package, which has yet to be set. This has become a contentious issue among some of the unions.

But yesterday, MAS pa­­rent Khazanah Nasional Bhd issued a statement to say that all “is on track” for the implementation of its 12-point recovery plan.

Khazanah said the restructuring involved a complete overhaul of MAS so that the airline would return to sustained profitability.

Khazanah had in November announced the plan after the airline suffered two major air disasters, with the loss of two aircraft and 537 lives.

MAS, however, was already financially ill before that. The plan will also see Khazanah inject RM6bil to resuscitate the airline.

It includes legalising the Malaysian Airlines System Bhd Act 2015 to provide legal protection for possible disputes over employment and supplier contracts in the transition from MAS to MAB.

Khazanah said more than 4,000 contracts were identified and the process to novate contracts that meet market-based requirements for the new airline began at the end of February.

“Not all the over 4,000 suppliers will be transferred to MAB. Those that refuse to renegotiate new terms will have to go but they will have limited avenue to sue MAS since the Act will protect MAS,” said the aviation executive.

Among them are Brahim’s, which has agreed to reduce its monthly bills by 25%.

MAS also agreed to pay RM37.95mil of the disputed amount of RM94mil owing to Brahim’s and both parties are in negotiations for a new catering agreement.

Of the RM6bil cash injection, Khazanah said it had disbursed RM1.38bil to MAS shareholders in relation to the de-listing of MAS.- Star, 3/3/2015, Drastic cuts to fly high again

Source: Star Online, 2/3/2015

Tuesday March 3, 2015 MYT 10:39:05 AM
MAS employees troubled by impending layoffs, says union

PETALING JAYA: The impending layoffs at Malaysia Airlines (MAS) are taking its toll on the employees.
MAS Employees Union (Maseu) executive secretary Mohd Jabbarullah Abd Kadir said morale among the airline staff was at an all-time low. 

“The top management and Khazanah (Khazanah Nasional Berhad) have left employees in the dark.

“They are demoralised as they are worried about their job security,” said Jabbarullah when contacted. 

He said Maseu wanted the top management to open a discussion with the staff or at least inform them of the management’s plans for the airline.

“Right now no one knows who will be terminated or who will stay, or whether the airline will offer Voluntary Separation Schemes (VSS) rather than terminate them,” Jabbarullah added.

“They are anxiously waiting for the announcement.” 

Maseu president Alias Aziz, meanwhile, said the union had appealed to the Prime Minister’s Department for the airline staff to be given the VSS rather than be terminated.

“We want MAS to be compas­sionate to those who have served them.

“These employees will have personal financial obligations that they need to fulfil, such as providing for their families or house mortgages, so a VSS would be preferable to a termination,” said Alias. 

Moves to reduce the 20,000 workforce by some 6,000 personnel are part of the airline’s recovery plan.

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