Close to 3,000 former Malaysia Airlines System (MAS) employees have filed complaints with the Industrial Relations Department on grounds of unjustified dismissal.
Malaysia Airlines System Employees Union (Maseu) secretary-general Abdul Malek Ariff, whose union is representing most of former staff, said the last complaint was filed last Friday, since the workers had 60 days to do so after the termination date which came into effect on Sept 1.
“If you file after 60 days, it’s just going to be a normal complaint. To get compensation, the complaint must be filed within 60 days,” Malek explained.
Most of the workers filed their complaints as they believe their services were terminated without proper procedures being followed.
“Since it was a retrenchment, the company should have followed the last-in, first-out (LIFO) system. Instead, it picked on people whose services it wanted to terminate.
“Since MAS did not follow the LIFO procedure, the staff are entitled to compensation,” Malek (photo) said.
He added that the workers were also unhappy with the compensation offered as some who are supposed to get one-and-a-half month’s salary for every year of service only received 0.55.
“The company split the one-and-a-half month’s salary, providing 0.55 for loss of employment plus another 0.95.
“By right, for retrenchment, they should be given one-and-a-half month’s salary. Loss of employment should be separate.
“The former staff expect one month’s worth of salary for loss of employment, so in total each of them should be getting two-and-a-half-month’s salary.”
As for the current predicament of the former staff, Malek said most of them are still jobless.
Who wants to employ them?
“Out of 6,000, it’s not necessary that even 500 of them have jobs. Quite a number of them who met me said they are jobless.
“Who wants to employ them when they are in their 40s and 50s? Companies say they will rather take in young people.”
Among the 6,000 dismissed, Malek claimed, some were ‘pro-management’ who felt that it was not good to complain.
“Those who are not making noise are the ones who are reaching 55 years of age. They are getting their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) savings, so there’s no problem.
“Those who are suffering are those who will get their EPF savings a long time away from now,” he said.
The services of all 20,000 MAS employees were terminated on June 1 and offer letters were given to 14,000 of them to join the new Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) entity.
About 6,000 MAS employees were therefore laid off, effective Sept 1.
Malaysia Airlines is seeking to reinvent itself after stiff competition led to years of losses, even before flight MH370 disappeared in March last year and MH17 was shot down.
Sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd announced plans to cut 6,000 jobs after the carrier amassed more than RM4.9 billion in losses since the start of 2011.