‘Retrenched MAS employees should file judicial review against minister’

Malaysia Airlines— File Photo Bernama

Andrew Lo

KUCHING: The 3,600 retrenched Malaysia Airlines employees should file for a judicial review against Human Resources Minister Dato Sri Richard Riot for not referring the case to the Industrial Court.

This was stated by Sarawak Bank Employees Union chief executive officer and secretary of Malaysian Trades Union Congress (Sarawak division) Andrew Lo.

Lo pointed out Riot was wrong to say that MAS was no longer in existence as it had wound up and the ministry could not go after it.

“It is a misleading statement from the minister because MAS is not bankrupt…it is under special administrator. The case should be referred to the Industrial Court, which has the power to join any party to make its judgement effective and enforceable,” Lo said when contacted yesterday.

He said it was very irresponsible for employers to wind up just to escape their responsibility of caring for their employees.

Lo was commenting on Riot’s statement yesterday in which he was quoted as saying that the ministry was not required by law to explain the delay in taking up the case of 3,600 retrenched Malaysia Airlines workers to the Industrial Court.

Datuk Seri Richard Riot

Riot said his ministry, through the Industrial Relations Department, had sent out letters to the affected workers explaining the situation. He said the letters had been sent to 1,500 of the 3,600 laid-off unionised MAS staff.

“That to me is sufficient as a response…we are not required by law to give an explanation,” Riot was quoted as saying after opening the Asean Productivity-Linked Wage Conference in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

Last month, the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia questioned why it took the ministry two years to decide not to refer the case involving 3,600 retrenched MAS workers to the Industrial Court.

On this, the ministry’s secretary-general Khalid Jali said it was due to a moratorium on the transition of MAS to Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) which had been in place. The moratorium ended in May this year.

Before its winding-up, MAS suffered twin air disasters; one plane was shot down over Ukraine in 2014 and another still missing.

AFP/File / by Dan Martin | The three searching nations have indicated the hunt for MH370 will end if nothing is detected on the seafloor in a designated area deemed the most likely crash zone (File Photo)

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew disappeared on March 8, 2014. The Boeing 777 left Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am for Beijing but lost contact which air traffic controllers at 1.22am as it was crossing the South China Sea.

© AFP/File | A picture taken on October 15, 2014 shows the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 near the village of Rassipnoe (File Photo)

And in July 2014, MH17, a scheduled passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down while flying over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.

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