The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) is worried about Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) planned purchases of new Boeing aircraft.
Nufam secretary-general Mohd Akram Osman noted that new aircraft meant new routes and hiring more staff to man them.
However, he expressed fear that this may lead to a repeat of the mass retrenchment of workers in 2015, on grounds that the airline had supposedly grown “bloated”.
“This is like going back to square one when MAS was claimed to be bloated with workers. The airline had to lay off 6,000 workers two years ago.
“It’s been less than three years after this retrenchment and here they go again overspending to purchase more planes.
“The government injected RM6 billion and now more money is willingly spent for the airline. Is MAS making huge profits already?” Akram asked in a statement today.
He also noted that MAS had yet to publicly announced that it had secured new routes for the planes.
Akram lamented that each time the MAS management had made a firm decision for its recovery plan, other things would set in.
“This is where the problem will arise in MAS each time something is made out of politics.
“Thousands of employees suffered and were retrenched due to the financial problems and mismanagement in MAS.
“The government claims MAS has to cut cost but now what we see is totally the opposite.
“The national union believes the increased purchase of new planes were done for some mileage but at the airline’s cost,” he said.
Last week, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in his visit to the US said he wanted to help “strengthen the US economy” and announced three “value propositions”.
Amongst them was a plan for MAS to purchase 25 Boeing 737 MAX10 and eight 787 Boeing Dreamliners.
“And there is a strong probability – not possibility – probability that we will add 25 more 737 MAX 10 in the near future.
“So within five years, the deal will be worth beyond US$10 billion,” Najib had told US President Donald Trump.