Miscellaneous / Socio-economy

Tussle between two MAS unions

A reader sent this through the comment section:


Urgent 28th December 2012

Protest Against Secret Ballot Exercise On MAS Cabin Crew & Claim of Recognition By National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM)

MASEU has been informed or given to understand that NUFAM has been registered and had sought recognition from Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to represent its cabin crew.

MASEU is of the view that it is highly improper or right for recognition to be given by Malaysian Airlines to entertain NUFAM’s claim for recognition due to the following reasons:-

(1) A “general recognition” had long been accorded by MAS to MASEU as a general body to represent its non-executive employees including its cabin crew (i.e. graded staff) since the establishment of MASEU as an in-house union in 1979, after the Airlines Employees’ Union, Peninsular Malaya (AEU), (which represented most of Malaysia Airlines’ employees including those of foreign airlines that operated to Peninsular Malaysia) was deregistered.

(2) Giving recognition to two unions to represent the crew is not in the spirit of good industrial relations and would cause industrial disharmony among the cabin crew who are members of MASEU and members of NUFAM. This will conflict with the objective of the Industrial Relations Act 1967.

(3) MASEU cabin crew are well represented for 33 years in its central Committee since 1979 and currently is represented by four duly elected Cabin Crew. MASEU had successfully concluded Collective Agreement (CA) covering all its graded employees including cabin crew from the time of its establishment including the 2012 CA which MASEU had concluded with MAS on 12.12.2012.

After almost one year, we are puzzled to receive a circular via MH internal mail dated 20th December 2012 from Secretary General of NUFAM to MAS Cabin Crew that NUFAM and MAS have signed a Voting Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will allow the National Union of Flight Attendant (i.e. NUFAM) to conduct a secret ballot exercise in MAS and this secret ballot exercise will determine whether NUFAM will be allowed to manage MAS Cabin Crew’s CA.

MASEU protest to the proposed secret ballot exercise and MASEU request that the following action be taken by the Industrial Relations Department:-

a) To permit MAS not to entertain any claim of recognition by NUFAM to representatives cabin crew members on the grounds given above and it is improper for MAS to sign a Voting MOU with NUFAM on 19th December 2012 especially when there is already an existing in-house union i.e. MASEU that governs MAS Cabin Crew’s CA successful for 33 years,

b) To seek the good office of Director General of Trade Union / Minister of Human Resources to direct the NUFAM to amend its constitution to prohibit MAS cabin crew to join NUFAM on the ground that there is IN EXISTENCE an in-house trade union to represent MAS cabin crew, as evident from the Collective Agreements concluded with MAS SINCE 1979 and WHICH had been taken cognizance by the Industrial Court,

c) To advise the Director General of Trade Union to withdraw or cancel the certificate OF registration of NUFAM, under Section 15 (2)(a) of the Trade Unions Act 1959 (Act 262) as MASEU has the largest number of MAS employees as members of MASEU if NUFAM refuses to amend its constitution,

d) To cancel the proposed secret ballot exercise involving MAS Cabin Crew, as by allowing this exercise, would cause a conflict of interests or division of loyalty among MAS Cabin Crew, who are members of MASEU if they are invited to participate in the secret ballot.

e) To advise MAS to revoke the Voting MOU where MAS and NUFAM signed on 19th December 2012 as this contravenes Article 8 of the Collective Agreement (CA) between MAS and MASEU. An extract of Article 8 is reproduced below:-


The company recognized the Union as the sole collective negotiating body representing its permanent employees in Peninsular Malaysia referred to in the Employees Classification Table set out in Schedule IV.”

MASEU views this matter seriously as the action of MAS management in signing the Voting MOU is tantamount to inducing MASEU Cabin Crew to refrain or resign to be a member of MASEU and this contravenes Section 5.1. (e) of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 which is reproduced below:-


5.1. No employer or trade union of employers, and no person acting on behalf of an employer or such trade union shall:-

(e) Induce a person to refrain from becoming or to cease to be a member or officer of a trade union by conferring or offering to confer any advantage on or by procuring or offering to procure any advantage for any person.”

MASEU believe that since the registration of NUFAM was under political pressure, we also believe that the secret ballot exercise is subsequently under political pressure to grant recognition to NUFAM to represent MAS Cabin Crew is an attempt to annihilate sustainability/survival of MASEU. This practice is highly undesirable and bad for fostering good industrial relations.

MASEU object strongly to the stand of the Ministry action and demand the Ministry to act rightly within the legal framework of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 and the Trade Union Act to foster good industrial relations in not only MAS but in the Country.

MASEU further believe if such practice is condoned or continued, it would encourage other categories of MAS graded employees to form another National Union in MAS, which would not be in the interest of MAS and its employees.

MASEU request that DG industrial Relations and DG Trade Union to take immediate action to accede to our request.


The reader further said, – MAS does not want to recognise NUFAM but was forced by DEP MOHR to bear all costs for NUFAM exercising secret ballots inside MAS so NUFAM can recruit MAS cabin crew as members. Current number NUFAM has is 58 only since the inception of nUFAM on 27th January 2012. Dep MOHR is the one responsible for approving NUFAM even though in-house union already existed for mas cabin crew. REPORTS to SPRM on NUFAM President for misused of fund already been lodged.

Why should there be two unions within one company? This matter was also highlighted by The Star here.

14 thoughts on “Tussle between two MAS unions

  1. Thanks for explaining the issues, JMD.

    My initial thoughts are like yours – why the hell should there be 2 unions for the same category of workers.

    Usually when that happens, there is an attempt to divide and rule the workers of that category. Who is doing that I will have to read your post in detail and comment some more in due course.

    And certainly the Director General of Trade Union / Minister of Human Resources must act to ensure the healthy development of industrial relations in this country. It is incumbent on him to protect and give priority to the interests of MAS as it is the national airline and the flag carrier.

    All assistance must be given to MAS and their employees to ensure the company increases its profits and stays viable and competitive locally and internationally.


    • Correction to my comment “My initial thoughts are like yours” – the above is actually a press release issued by the MASEU.

      Accordingly, I agree with and support the MASEU’s stand in that regard.


  2. malaysiaairlinesfamilies.wordpress.com carries a post with the heading “NUFAM – A national union formed by Tony Fernandez to conquer Malaysia Airlines”. Here’s the link – http://malaysiaairlinesfamilies.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/nufam-a-national-union-formed-by-tony-fernandez-to-conquer-malaysia-airlines/

    Based on that, it appears that I was right in suspecting that Air Asia Tony Fernandez has a hand in this matter. It looks like he, having been ousted from MAS, wants to create discord and instability in the working atmosphere among MAS staff, and in the process, bring down MAS and bring up Air Asia. If that is true, it’s certainly a hideous and damnable act.

    In a healthy competition, one should project the services of one’s company, not deliberately put down those of the competitor.

    We have heard and read a lot about the activities of Tony Fernandez prior to, during and after the Air Asia – MAS link up some time back. Mostly unpleasant. This attempt to disturb the status quo in the good industrial relations existing among MAS staff appears gangster-like and portrays him badly as the chief executive of an airline, however small.

    Let’s call for wisdom and good judgment on the part of the authorities, as requested by the MASEU,


    • What a load of Bull!

      AirAsia has nothing to do with NUFAM. The article you linked is, at best, a verbose of personal vendetta against an individual, who happens to lead the proposed new union.

      The only good thing about MAS is it’s cabin crew; they’re still the reason why people take MAS. Their service, as proven time and again, with multiple ‘Best Cabin Crew’ awards is a testament to this.

      But in the grand scheme of things, the union doesn’t care about the cabin crew. In the last CA negotiations, they went in without even bothering to address the cabin crew’s grouses.

      To the uninitiated, while the MAS Cabin crew are the best in the world, they’re the lowest paid.

      So yeah, please stop his nonsense, MASEU. Let the cabin crew decide their fate. Going around blogs with this press release only shows how screwed up y’all have been.


      • You should have loaded your bull – give convincing arguments why “AirAsia has nothing to do with NUFAM.” A serious allegation has been made by people who seem to be in the know, who appear to be involved in the MASEU, and you cannot simply say “AirAsia has nothing to do with NUFAM.”

        If you say “the union doesn’t care about the cabin crew, then try to change the union leaders concerned, rather than get another union to come in and “fish in troubled waters”. You know, too many cooks can spoil the broth, so do try to change the cook instead of the kitchen.

        And there is no guarantee that another union can get higher pay for the MAS cabin crew, is there?


  3. Some people may say that it’s good to have more airlines in the country to provide competition and better service to the public, and to enable the lower income rakyat a chance to travel on chap fares etc. They may think that Tony Fernandez or Air Asia’s hand in the NUFAM affair is excusable.

    It does not seem so to me, because:

    1. AA was supposed to be a complement to MAS, working together so that they both cover all aspects of the airline industry in this country. But when the AA-MAS link was inked in equity terms etc, and Tony Fernandez was on the BOD of MAS, there were all sorts of complaints of air routes rivalry, millions of Ringgit of MAS funds spent for British football team and such nonsense. There was no complementarity (one supporting the other) of existence at all, in fact rivalry.

    2. When the AA-MAS link was severed, Tony Fernandez showed his true colours, moved his operations HQ to Jakarta, brought his Indian pilots there, he said, leaving the non-Indian pilots askance here. There did not appear to be an iota of sense of loyalty to country at all, in fact showed his vengeance not just on flight routes, but also on matters concerning Terminal 2. There have been many accusations of him not paying many million Ringgit of airport tax collected from passengers through ticketing procedures.

    Now the NUFAM affair appears as an attempt to create instability in the cabin crew situation in the country, that may affect MAS operations – MAS cabin services have long been regarded as among the best in the world and is a high selling point. Damn anybody trying to disrupt and spoil that image.


  4. The sabahan 18 must be either from NUFAM or AIR ASIA guys coz NUFAM is AIR ASIA AND AIR ASIA TONY F INSTIGATED NUFAM. It was Ismail Nasaruddin the dickhead of NUFAM president verbally and accidentally told MAS staff. Ismail Nasaruddin said Tony called him and asked him why don’t they work together so they can put all cabin crew under one national union that will be run by Ismail Nassaruddin with agendas to sign away the transport entitlement for mas cabin crew and sharing room apply also for malaysia airlines for saving cost. Sharing room is illegal by right. All premium and full service airlines do not permit their crew to share room so to mitigate the fatigue level among the cabin crew and the pilot. NUFAM proposed to MAS to allow senior Inflight supervisor to work below grade which means an supervisor can work as non-supervisor. Decades ago an IFS was caught making his coffee in the galley whilst working below as non-supervisor crew and he let other junior crew to cover his remaining jobs.

    NUFAM is a troublemaker. They cause MAS a lot of embarassment by publicly announced MAS is bullying cabin crew padahal NUFAM harbour bullies. One of them is IFS Hearrey Salleh also known as H1NI the deadly virus. IFS Hearrey goes around bullying his crew to maximum until many cabin crew reported sick on his. It was MASEU who put the stop to all that bullying in the workplace restraining H1N1 from bullying the crew. Today Hearrey is like a walking time bomb that going to explode anything because his thrill is to bully all his cabin crew. Crew like Hearrey had caused MAS cancelled international flight because no crew wanted to fly with him. But this incident was never recorded because Hayati dato Ali covered Hearrey Salleh by asking him to take long leave which he did. And Hearrey Salleh supposed to take 1 year unpaid leave and he left for London to work in a restaurant. The same SAKIT JIWA method he used on the staff in London restaurant. So the big boss owner who is a Malaysian dato flew all the way to London one day just to terminate Hearrey Salleh. Padan Muka but he came back flying as IFS. Again once in a while he will kacau and disturb the crew who fear him.

    So is nUFAM good for cabin crew? No it’s not and one day nUFAM committee will comprise of AIR ASIA, MAS and other airlines in Malaysia. That is when the problem for mas cabin crew will see their future. mas cabin crew terms and conditions will then be standardised with airasia and other lower cost airlines.

    MASEU took care of mas cabin crew but only get disturbed every other day and weeks by NUFAM condemning MASEU non-stop because NUFAM does not know how to negotiate for cabin crew. Since Mafaa existed in 2002 until now nothing was achieved for mas cabin crew except more disunity amongst mas cabin crew and more bickering on the blogspheres and facebook. MAFAA is NUFAM and nUFAM is mafaa. Nothing different. If mafaa cannot do anything for mas cabin crew for the last 12 years or less what can nufam do? NUFAM also sabotage mas cabin crew in malaysian stations asking TEngku Azmil and the company to lower the frequencies of nightstop in malaysian station claiming cost ineffective. It ended with mas cabin crew who fly domestic stations suffered greatly. And they never forgave nUFAM for doing what they did. NUFAM boycotted mas by complaining to DCA about mas internal problem and safety performance. Guess it’s really Tony’s call for nufam to boycott mas so that mas aircraft operation certificate also can be extended only for 6 months.

    Screw nUFAM and Tony.


    • Thanks to you and to RUSS below for the frightening detailed information. I have suspected this kind of things have been going on and now they are revealed by you both who I think are in the know and are members of MASEU.

      All these remind me of the saying, “jumpa ular dengan …”

      More of MASEU members should come out and spill the Air Asia boss’ dirty beans here. Do encourage your colleagues to write so that the flying public is made aware of the attempt to put MAS down, this time through the unions. I think the man is a crook, based on what has been written in the many blogs that I read.


  5. By the way, MASEU is still not happy with mas middle management who keep bullying the staff. Those middle management level like John Engkatesoo taught Ismail Nasaruddin how to capture MAS cabin crew and how to penetrate into mas for recognition. Screw John Engkateesoo. He is retiring this April and we pray he leaves MAS forever and don’t come back or get extended. John Engkatesoo also the same asshole who only know how to screw mas cabin crew. He was one of mas cabin crew also who got suspended and charged before but because of maseu’s help he came back working but this time he got a bit crazy because his retirement time is very near.
    Screw John Engkateesoo for screwing mas cabin crew.


  6. Dear Jebat, I would appreciate if you can have a post on the present ‘ustaz/ustazah artis syndrome’. This includes (particularly Abby Abadi and Ustaz Azhar Idrus – sorry if you’re a fan of his, coz to me a mosque is not a platform for another maharaja lawak). So happens that, a good but naiveand gullible neighbour of mine is so into this that she would take anything…really anything what these 2 ppl say. I am so pissed off…I remember Abby said in an article…semua tak kira artis…cikgu…yg menentang kerajaan akan diberhentikan..being an educaor, i know many who are penyokong tegar pkr n pas (proudly showing off their parties via car stickes and contributing to opposition blogs) never had their service terminated. Oh God, please help to open their eyes…
    1. http://beautifulnara.com/tag/abby-abadi/
    2. http://www.2dayblogger.com/blog/politik-bukan-bidang-saya-abby-abadi/
    3. http://gelombangkick.blogspot.com/2012/07/video-ceramah-abby-abadi-penat-nik-aziz.html
    4. http://theunspinners.blogspot.com/2012/10/lawak-pagi-ular-lemak-abby-kata-korban.html

    Who does she think she is?


  7. Dear JMD, please be alert NUFAM gang is all out to spread news about MASEU members who did not want to support NUFAM. MASEU is under attack by NUFAM gangster. IFS Tarmedzi is a good man. Thank you.


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