Nufam wants MAS to lift suspension of Ismail

SUBANG JAYA (Nov 18, 2013): The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) wants Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) management to lift the suspension of Ismail Nasaruddin and retract a show cause letter and all allegations made against him.

Nufam Secretariat spokesperson Mahmood Abdullah said the union wants the airline's management to meet nine requests, which include the immediate lifting of Ismail's suspension, failing which it will march in protest to Putrajaya. Ismail is president of Nufam.

Ismail was suspended from duty on November 8, following Nufam's call for MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya to step down for, what it called, management's failure in addressing the plight of cabin crew members over the past few years.

Mahmood said Ismail's suspension is unacceptable as he was speaking in his capacity as Nufam president.

"If MAS fails to address these issues, we will march to the Prime Minister's office to submit a memorandum," he told reporters at a press conference last Friday.

The nine items on the memorandum include the acknowledgement of Nufam as the official union representing cabin crew members, to uphold the Industrial Relations Act 1967 Article 59 and to uphold the United Nation's Convention ILO 87 which constitutes all unions' right to carry out duties and freedom of speech.

Ismail, who was also present at the press conference, said MAS management's actions reflect trade union busting and is also a challenge or threat to other union leaders in Malaysia.

"If MAS can do this to me, other government-linked companies (GLCs) can do the same. That will be the downfall of Malaysian law," he said.

The acknowledgement of Nufam as a union representing MAS' cabin crew by the management of the national carrier has been a bone of contention for awhile now, with the union crying foul over MAS' disengagement, as the airline itself remains mum on its stand with the union.

While talk of a judicial review of the secret ballot which had led to Nufam's entry into MAS has surfaced, the national carrier is yet to respond on whether a review is ongoing.