Malaysia - No justice for airline workers dismissed in union busting exercise

In October 2017 Human Resources Minister Richard Riot decided not to refer the claim of about 3,600 Malaysian Airlines (MAS) workers, claiming wrongful dismissal and reinstatement, to the industrial court – hence denying these workers the right for their claim to be heard speedily and determined.
The workers were among those who lost their jobs in June 2015 in a wave of mass lay-offs by government-owned Malaysian Airlines. The Malaysian government transferred the assets of Malaysian Airlines Systems Berhad (MAS Bhd) to a newly created separate legal entity, Malaysian Airlines Berhad (MAB), terminated all employees in the previous company – and then re-employed selected workers in the new company. The government then passed a new law that made the new company specifically not liable for the actions and liabilities of the old company. The exercise was described by some observers as possibly the biggest union-busting exercise of recent times, as six of the trade unions were in-house unions, and the exercise effectively wiped out all of them.

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