Fight back, says union as 2,000 Malindo staff bid farewell

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Social media was flooded with farewell messages such as this from retrenched staff of Malindo Air who left the airline on Friday. (Twitter pic)

PETALING JAYA: Staff of Malindo Air were urged today to lodge complaints for wrongful dismissal, following the retrenchments of about 2,000 staff who bid farewell to the airline on Friday.

The National Union of Flight Attendants (Nufam) said “the compensation and terms of dismissal are very unreasonable”.

Nufam deputy secretary-general Shashi Kumar said: “We have been informed that many staff have not received their salaries for months but have been suddenly retrenched.”

He said Socso should investigate Malindo over claims that the airline received close to RM3 million under an employee retention programme which should have staved off retrenchments for six months.

Social media was abuzz with messages from Malindo staff saying their farewells on Friday.

“Today is the darkest day of my flying life,” said Lee Hyueri on Facebook . “…Sorry for being sentimental here tonight. I thought I had mentally prepared (myself) for this, but when it happened, I can’t (put) this sadness into words.”

‘A nightmare come true’

A user on Twitter with the account described the retrenchments as a “nightmare come true”.

Another Twitter user by the name of Altaf Moghni said he was saddened that his friends and batch mates were affected, stating that some of them had just started a family or bought a new car.

Malindo pilot Ghazi Azri, among those retrenched, posted his farewell and looked back on the day he flew with his family on board. (Facebook pic)

Malindo pilot Captain Ghazi Azri made his farewell announcement “from the cockpit” on Facebook, saying: “Signing Off M03039. It’s been an awesome journey serving the sky with you. I’m putting my wings down. Will be back up higher and stronger soon.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the aviation industry into a standstill, with Malindo’s retrenchment the latest in a series of cost-cutting measures for struggling airlines.

A poignant farewell message from Facebook user Zhafri Zamil. (Twitter pic)

However, Shashi pointed out that the government had already stated companies could not fire their workers because of the pandemic “but you can see for yourself what is happening”.

He added: “What is the use of the government allocating billions of ringgit to all these companies, but they still fire their employees? It shows how weak the monitoring is.”

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