Union supports crisis-stricken airline’s restructure

by Hannah Norton22 Apr 2015
The Malaysia Airlines Employees Union (MASEU) pledged its support for the company’s restructure this week, saying it would aim to mitigate the blow for workers by negotiating for compassionate packages for those forced to leave the company.

The union hoped there would be “attractive packages and terms of conditions” for those who stayed on.

Last year, Malaysia Airlines posted a 305.7m ringgit (over SGD$113m) loss in the April-June quarter following the March 8 disappearance of flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew aboard.

In July, 298 passengers and crew on board a Malaysia Airlines jetliner died when it was shot down over a war-torn eastern Ukraine.

In August last year, the company – which was removed from the Malaysian stock exchange and taken completely under the government’s wing – announced it was slashing 6,000 workers, as well as searching for a new CEO.

Then in March this year, after a takeover by the Government of Malaysia’s strategic investment fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the newly-formed Malaysian Airlines Bhd (MAS) announced it had identified 4,000 contracts for renegotiation under its recovery plan.

In a statement on Monday, the union’s president, Alias Aziz, acknowledged that tough measures were necessary to save MAS, including changes in the workforce.

The organisation was grateful for the setting up of the Corporate Development Centre, which would provide re-skilling and placement services for employees who were leaving the airline.

The union wanted the employee migration to be conducted in stages so that the staff would have sufficient time to cope with the transition, Aziz said.

“MASEU also hopes that employees who join the new MAS will be given appropriate flexibility in adjusting to new demands and requirements.”

He reiterated the union’s support for the company’s restructure and in-coming CEO and managing director Christoph Mueller, who takes over on May 1.

Mueller was previously chief executive of Aer Lingus, the national carrier of Ireland.

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