PETALING JAYA, March 23, 2015:
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) wants Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to intervene in the plan by Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAS NewCo) to retrench 6,000 of its staff.
TWU secretary-general Tan Sri Zainal Rampak said Malaysia Airlines (MAS) had more than enough time to come up with a workable solution on what to do with the staff in its restructuring plan, but nothing had come up and the unions were still in the dark.
Zainal rapped Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the majority shareholder in MAS, for not consulting the unions which would have better ideas.
“Take the unions as your partner as MAS is funded by taxpayers.
“But Khazanah is not very serious even though it has appointed consultants to look into it.
“When you are serious, you must be very positive but there are no end to the discussions,” said the former Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) strongman at a press conference here today.
He said six trade unions will submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office today to urge the government to intervene.
The six are Amalgamated Union of Employees in Government Clerical and Allied Services (AUEGCAS), Kesatuan Pencantuman Pekerja-pekerja TNB, Junior Officers Union Tenaga Nasional Berhad (JOUTNB), University of Malaya General Staff Union (UMGSU), Malayan Nurses Union (MNU) and Sabah Medical Services Union (SMSU).
The memorandum, among others, demands a stop to the plan to retrench 6,000 MAS employees.
A discussion must be held as soon as possible involving the Human Resources Ministry, Khazanah and MAS with every legally recognised union in MAS.
The negotiation process on the restructuring of MAS must also be done in a transparent manner and in accordance with the Federal Constitution and labour laws.
Zainal declined to comment on the possibility of a strike if no progress was made as outlined in the memorandum.
MTUC secretary-general N. Gopal Krishnan said the Prime Minister had a moral obligation to find a solution for the workers, saying they had invested their life in MAS.
“Restructuring is not new but reducing the workforce is not restructuring.
“In the past, MAS had laid off some 3,000 staff but later on employed another 2,000.
“MTUC is strongly behind the workers. Since nothing is forthcoming from the management, we need the Prime Minister to act.”