Tuesday, February 24, 2015

MALAYSIA:::MAS unions to protest planned job culls

Troubled airlines to lay off at least 6,000 under structuring plan beginning April.
masKUALA LUMPUR: Several unions are expected to protest the retrenchment of 6,000 workers when Malaysian Airline System Bhd, the new company that is emerging from financially troubled Malaysian Airlines, begins its RM6 billion restructuring exercise in April.
The airlines has 20,000 workers.
There are at least nine worker unions and associations in the airline company and a source from one of the unions told The Edge Financial Daily, “Yes, we are preparing (to stage a protest), looking at the present situation.”

Another union source said it was waiting for termination letters before making its move.
It is understood that at least one union is preparing to go on strike to force the government to renegotiate.
But any union or group would need written permission from its employer and the government two weeks in advance before going on strike, according to Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) president Mohd Khalid Atan.
“Picketing (no written permission needed) is allowed for maybe a few hours. But a strike will mean a total shutdown (of operations),” said Khalid.
The largest union is Malaysia Airlines System Employees Union (Maseu) which has about 13,500 members. Among the others are the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia with 1,500 members; Malaysia Airlines Employees Union Peninsular Malaysia; and the Malaysia Airlines Pilots Association.
The last time the unions came together was when they lobbied to unbundle the proposed share swap between MAS and AirAsia in 2012. They also recently joined forces to condemn the MAS Act that was passed in Parliament in November.
Maseu secretary-general Abdul Malek Ariff said the union was disappointed with Khazanah and the management of MAS for not taking into consideration the interest of employees who would be affected by the restructuring.
We are not looking to strike or picket though we may protest, said Malek.
While MTUC’s Khalid professed no knowledge of any protest plans, he said the MAS unions largely felt that they had been sidelined since Khazanah announced the restructuring plan last year.
Khazanah, the investment holding arm of the Malaysian government, had announced that under the five-year 12-point MAS Recovery Plan, there would be a talent assessment exercise to identify 14,000 workers who would be retrained and retained.

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