PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has blasted the new Malaysian Airline System Bhd Act (MAS Act) which it said specifically targets the employees of the national carrier and have not addressed issues of lopsided contracts and mismanagement head on. MTUC's Sarawak division secretary Andrew Lo pointed out that the MAS Act will take away hard earned retirement and termination benefits as well as bring the end of existing trade unions and associations representing the employees of MAS. "Worse, it will tear up the existing collective agreement (CA) that was agreed upon between the unions and MAS," he said in a statement yesterday. Under the MAS Act, he noted, that the new entity, Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB), will not be responsible for any monies due to employees, including termination benefits of at least 6,000 who will lose their jobs. Lo warned that all 20,000 employees of MAS will naturally be terminated when the present entity cease to exist. "It is expected that the new MAB will employ most of these, (except the 6000) MAS employees. However, the terms and conditions will be entirely at the discretion of MAB," he said. MAB will also pick and choose which employees and union leaders from MAS that it wants. Lo said the employees who are terminated will also most likely not be able to recover retrenchment or termination benefits provided for in law as MAS's asset will be transferred to the new MAB. "This is where it is most discriminatory and unfair as the Act allows for liabilities due to other creditors including those lopsided contracts be transferred to the new MAB. It is unacceptable to deny lower ranked employees their basic and minimal rights," he said. Lo added that the creditors are further protected, as the Act requires MAB to appoint an independent advisor to review any re-negotiation of contracts. "The independent advisor may take into consideration the interests of the (lopsided) creditors," he said. "By targeting specifically the employees and trade unions, the government is barking up the wrong tree. Until the issue of mismanagement is addressed head on, any restructuring is unlikely to succeed."