Govt receives 31 complaints from ex-Malindo Air staff

by ASILA JALIL / pic by TMR FILE 

THE government has received 31 complaints from former Malindo Air employees who felt that their dismissal was unfair.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said the employees, who felt that their dismissal due to the Covid-19 pandemic was unfair and done without solid reasons, have the right to file a representation to be reinstated in their former employment under Section 20 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 (Act 177).

“As of Nov 2, the Department of Industrial Relations (JPP) received 31 representation cases under Section 20 of Act 177 which involves the former employees of Malindo Air.

“Of the total, 24 cases were resolved through peaceful negotiations, while the seven remaining cases are still awaiting JPP’s actions for peaceful negotiations,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat as a response to Kasthuriraani Patto’s (Batu Kawan-Pakatan Harapan) question on the issue.

He said JPP expects to receive more cases from former Malindo Air employees since the 60-day period stipulated under Act 177 has not ended and several states are still under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

The airline decided to reduce more than half of its workforce as part of measures to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 on its business operations.

Malindo Air was said to have laid off about 2,200 employees or more than half of its 3,200 workforce.

The retrenchment process is expected to be completed on Nov 30. Saravanan said the government took the initiative to hold a discussion with Malindo Air’s management, along with JPP and the Social Security Organisation yesterday, to discuss issues relating to labour law compliance and measures to safeguard the employees’ welfare.

He also said the airlines’ employees who were retrenched could gain assistance under the Job Search Allowance for six months.

“Payment of allowances will be made between 80% and 30% of their last drawn salary, under the RM4,000 salary limit.

“Malindo Air’s retrenched staff can also register at MYFutureJobs portal to assist them in getting jobs,” he said.

Under the “Place and Train” initiative, former Malindo Air employees can also be retrained and fill the job vacancies offered in the hospitality industry or others, he said.

“As of August 2020, a total of 35,000 participants were identified, trained and absorbed into companies involved in the initiative,” he added.

The airline employees who were affected by the retrenchment process are given a three-month salary severance package, while those still on Malindo Air’s payroll will have to multitask.

It was previously reported that the airline had reduced its fleet size to five Boeing 737 jets and six ATR turboprops.