A civil suit appears the only option for them after Human Resources Minister Richard Riot ruled against sending the matter to the Industrial Court, says Nufam

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) is assisting the 1,500 retrenched MAS employees to file a civil suit but admits being hampered by the high cost involved.

“We are still studying the cost of this whole legal process which eventually will be very costly since many of these workers are jobless. We pity them as many of them have no clue on how to go about doing a challenge which is provided by the law,” said its president Ismail Nasaruddin .

“Nufam encourage workers who have received those letters to notify us. There are also some lawyers who have sent their proposals to help these workers. We are talking about several thousands of ringgit which the workers will need to raise for their legal fees,” he added.

While Nufam can help foot the bill, Ismail said, the workers would have to pay for most of the legal fees since they are named in the suit.

Ismail said Nufam is mulling other options to overcome the cost problem.

“We are hoping some lawyers will offer their assistance to help these poor workers. The union may also consider raising some funds through crowd funding if the cost is too high.”

A civil suit appears the only option for the retrenched workers after Human Resources Minister Richard Riot recently ruled against sending the matter to the Industrial Court since MAS no longer exists.

Ismail also said that not all the retrenched workers had steady jobs with adequate pay to support themselves.

He also said plans to challenge the Malaysia Airlines System Berhad Act, also known as the MAS Act, are afoot.

“There is also a plan to file against the MAS Act which is a hidden problem. This corporate veil by MAS needs to be pierced as it gives no room for any parties to file a legal challenge without the administrator’s approval.”

This use of such Act must also justify the reasons and proof that the legal and fundamental values of the company should not be harmful and simply protect severe mismanagement of a business, he added.

He also pointed out that the Act may have been used to cover up unaccounted losses of the airlines.

“In MAS there were huge unaccounted losses; there was also lack of transparency on how the airline had suffered severe losses over the years which put 6,000 workers off their jobs.

“It could be due to bad decisions made by the airline management as how it was quoted before by the former MAS CEO Christoph Muller.”