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All MAS staff offered jobs at new airline must decide by 5pm today

PETALING JAYA: Amid threats of a strike, the 14,000 staff offered jobs at the new carrier have up to 5pm today to accept the offer made by Malaysia Airlines Bhd.

Sources said that as of late Thursday evening, over 70% or 9,800 of those offered jobs in the new company had taken up the offer.

Today, they are expecting the number to jump beyond 80%.

Those who take up the offer will be paid a sign-on bonus to be remitted by the end of September.

The new airline will take over from the current Malaysia Airlines (MAS) on Sept 1.

This migration is part of the remake of the national carrier, which has been ailing for a few years.

Its transformation into a new airline involves the termination of all MAS employees on June 1 and new jobs offered to 14,000 out of 20,000 MAS staff.

Although the final numbers will only be known early next week, MAS chief executive officer Christoph Mueller had in an earlier interview with The Star said he did not expect all of them to take up the offer and that a second round of job offers would be made.

He indicated that where there was no expertise within, external hires would be made.

Last night was also the deadline given by the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) for MAS to retract all 6,000 termination letters.

Sources said Nufam did not get any reply from MAS.

However, Nufam has threatened that staff would drop their tools to strike if they were not re-employed.

Whether MAS will bow to pressure or the staff will down their tools when the strike happens is not clear, but what is clear is that there is unhappiness and confusion over the termination packages for the 6,000 exiting staff.

“They should sit down and explain why some of us were not offered jobs. There must be a reason why we were not selected. They must be transparent with us,” said a staff member who requested anonymity.

MAS in a statement yesterday assured exiting staff that they would be paid based on the formula similar to that under their Collective Agreements and not a sen less.

“There might have been a misunderstanding on the total payment. The total payment comprises two parts made up of a base payment and an ex-gratia payment.

“Base payment is not to be confused with base pay or base salary. What’s important to note is that the total payment is based on the formula similar to the CAs,” MAS said.

It cited an example, saying that if an exiting employee’s salary is RM5,000 and he has worked for 12 years, then the total payment he will receive is RM5,000 multiplied by 1.5 multiplied by 12, which equals RM90,000.

MAS added that there was no change to the termination package.

Those with up to 10 years of service will receive the equivalent of one month’s basic salary for every year of service, while those with over 10 years of service will receive the equivalent of 1.5 month’s basic salary for every year of service.-thestar

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