Khazanah abides by MAS unions' collective agreements

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KUALA LUMPUR (May 26): Khazanah Nasional Bhd has agreed to abide by the terms covered by collective agreements (CAs) signed between the unions and Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS), which include up to a 1.5 months salary in lieu for every year of service.

This follows concerns that MAS staff who are to be let go will be offered a package of 0.8 months salary for every year of service.

According to Abdul Malek Ariff, secretary-general of Malaysia Airlines System Employees Union (Maseu) – the airline's biggest and most powerful workers union, Khazanah, the owner of MAS, will honour the CAs, with some benefits such as outpatient and hospitalisation for one year and discounted air tickets thrown in.

Describing the outcome of a last-minute meeting called by Khazanah this afternoon as "happy", Abdul Malek told theedgemarkets.com that Khazanah has promised to follow the terms under the CAs.

Maseu represents about 13,500 members of MAS.

He confirmed that all of the eight "recognised" unions representing MAS employees had attended today's meeting. The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) was not invited for the meeting.

In a report published by The Edge Financial Daily today, a union official was quoted as saying that Khazanah does not have to follow the CA as it had lapsed in August last year. The CA is renewable every three years.

MAS has an existing workforce of 20,000, of which some 6,000 will be laid off by Khazanah as part of its RM6 billion restructuring plan for the airline. It was reported that the termination letters will be sent out tomorrow.

There are at least nine worker unions and associations in MAS. The largest union in MAS is Malaysia Airlines System Employees Union (Maseu) which has about 13,500 members, with others including Nufam which represents about 1,500 cabin crew members, Malaysia Airlines Employees Union Peninsular Malaysia and the Malaysia Airlines Pilot Association.