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HRM 537 STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Lecturer’s Name :
FARIHA AIZA BINTI RAMLY
1. Khairul Firdaus Bin Mohamad 2016735829 2. Mohd Syukri Bin Saleh 2016394579 3. Hasbullah Fikri bin Hamzah 2016231586 4. Muhammad Nur Shafiq Bin Mohd Yunus 2016100181 5. Muhamad Zuri Iskandar Bin Iris 2016770231
LIST OF CONTENT
Background of Malaysia Airlines
History of Malaysia Airlines
Vision, Mission and Objective 3
HUMAN RESOURCES ISSUES
Background Of Malaysia Airlines Malaysia Airlines System Berhad is also known as MAS in short. MAS is founded in 1947 as Malayan Airways, but it has change its name as Malaysian Airline System in 1 October 1972. MAS is the flag carrier which is own by government of Malaysia. MAS headquarters is situated at Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, Selangor. MAS operates flights at its first base in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and secondary base in Kota Kinabalu. Malaysian Airlines System Berhad is the holding company for Malaysia’s national airlines carrier, one of the fastest growing airlines in Asia. Malaysia Airlines has two airline subsidiaries, which is Firefly MASwings. Firefly operates scheduled flights from its two home bases Penang International Airport and Subang International Airport. The airlines focuses on tertiary cities although has recently launched services to Borneo from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. MASwings focuses or inter-Borneo flights. Malaysia Airlines has a freighter fleet operated by MASKargo, which managers freighter flights and aircraft cargohold capacity for all Malaysia Airlines’ passenger flights. MAS are using this type of craft Airbus A330-200 and A330-300. Boeing 737-400, 800 and 400/400. Malaysia Airlines operates a fleet of aircraft with two cabin configurations. Malaysia Airlines B777-200ER fleet has a two configuration which is Golden Club Class and Economy Class. Its B747-400 fleet has a three-cabin configuration, also including First Class. Malaysia Airlines premium cabins and Economy Class have been giving numerous awards for excellence in product and service delivery. From a small air service, Malaysia airlines have grown to become award-winning airline with more than 1000 aircraft, servicing more than 110 destinations across six continents. The slogan for Malaysia Airlines is “ Going Beyond Expectations”. On 25 January 2007, Malaysia Airlines launched MH Campaign which means Malaysian Hospitality. Malaysia Airlines also practiced the online booking and buying to make their reservation or purchasing way easier for passenger. With this online purchasing, the passengers need to fulfil their details like the destination they want to go and the departure place they want. The payment will settling via the online banking. Internet user can book their air ticket, hotel , and train ticket and rent car via Malaysia Airlines Website. MAS is a type brick and click company. This is MAS offer both offline and online ticket booking systems. MAS allows customers to order air ticket and other services online, and other services also provided. MAS also have its ticketing counter and office in big city in selected state.
The main products offer by Malaysia Airlines web-site is flight tickets. Besides, it also provides car rental, hotel booking, booking railway ticket and holiday packages.
History of Malaysia Airlines
Malaysia Airways Ltd. (MAL) was founded in 1947 by British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC - now British Airways), Ocean Steamship Company of Liverpool and the Straits Steamship Company of Singapore. By the end of 1947, Malayan Airways engaged in an expansion exercise and MAL began providing regional flight services. The presence of BOAC also facilitated MAL's entry as a member of IATA. A year after the Independence of Malaya in 1957 and with the participation of BOAC, QANTAS, the government of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore and the Territory of North Borneo, MAL was launched as a public limited company. MAL then entered the jet age with the purchase of Vickers Viscount aircraft and by 1960 MAL propelled into other far-flung regions of Asia. The acquisition of an 82-seater Briston Britania in 1960 made mass transport by air a reality. This marked the first international non-stop service for MAL, which operated directly between Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.
After the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the airline was renamed as Malaysian Airlines Limited (MAL). The formation of a new nation saw the need for MAL to be a national carrier to integrate and connect the far corners of Malaysia. Two years later, Borneo Airways merged with MAL resulting in fleet and network expansion. In 1966, the Governments of Malaysia and Singapore became the majority shareholders in the national carrier and Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) was formed. In 1971, the partnership between Malaysia and Singapore was dissolved, and Malaysia Airlines Berhad was incorporated. With an authorized capital of RM100 million1, the company made a final revision to its name in November 1971, and Malaysian Airline System Berhad (MAS) was born. By 1972, Malaysian Airline System was already servicing 34 domestic routes and six international destinations.
The year 1976 saw MAS enter the information age, when it computerized its whole operation. In the 1980s, MAS became the first major government agency to be privatized but a change of business practice did not change the company's focus on being customer driven. As part of its modernization and expansion, MAS also invested in a new maintenance hangar facility, as well as extending its catering facilities in Subang, where the then international airport of Malaysia was located. As a f inal part of the restructuring exercise, MAS moved into its new corporate headquarters to a 36-storey building, which became the hub for the future direction of the company.
The year 1986 saw MAS offer the first flight service to the United States. By the end of 1987, MAS had established itself as an international carrier of choice, offering 34 domestic routes and 27 international destinations. MAS changed its corporate identity and became known as MAS, with the objectives to create a greater awareness of Malaysia. As part of its fleet modernization program, MAS invested RM9.6 billion to expand its fleet of aircrafts in 1991.As of March 2001; MAS had a fleet of 95 aircrafts in its network serving over 114 destinations.
MAS received international acclaim from many independent organizations for various aspects of its services. Its top management team received an award from the Asian Institute of Management and the World Executive Digest, for its excellence in general management and success in positioning itself in the airline industry. MAS received numerous awards in the airline industry, advertising industry, world-class publications, NGOs, private institutions, and independent research groups. Even during the economic downturn, some of its achievements were notable. .
Vision, Mission and Objective Vision i.
An airline uniquely renowned for its personal touch, warmth and efficiency.
To be the World’s five star value carrier(FSVC).
To be the airline of excellence
Going beyond expectations Mission
To provide air travel and transport service that rank among the best in terms of safety, comfort and punctuality.
Make Malaysia Airlines one of the leading standard bearers for the airline industry in term of safety, efficiency and quality of service.
To be a profitable airline List of Objectives
Highest level of safety
Satisfy legal requirements
Operations are conducted in the most efficient manner
Drive structural cost management
Ability to map efficiency in each area of operations
Position as benchmark in the aviation industry
Figure 1.0: Malaysia Airline System Organizational Structure
Peter Bellew Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer Izham Ismail Chief Operations Officer Arved Von Zur Muehlen Chief Commercial Officer Tan Kok Meng Chief Information Officer Claudia Maria Cadena Tarazona Chief Human Resources Officer Omar Siddiq Amin Noer Rashid Chief Financial Officer Nik Azli Abu Zahar Executive Counsel
Board of Directors
Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer
Peter Brendan Bellew
1. Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof 2. Tan Sri Mohd Irwan Serigar 3. Datuk Haji Abdul Wahab Aziz 4. Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Sukarti Wakiman
5. Tan Sri Tan Boon Seng @ Krishnan 6. Dato' Sri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly 7. David Lau Nai Pek 8. Dr Mohamadon Abdullah 9. Mohammad Izani Ashari 10. Sheranjiv a/l M Sammanthan 11. Dato’ Sri Dr. Mohmad Isa Hussain Executive Director .
Omar Siddiq Amin Noer Rashid Chief Financial Officer at Malaysia Airlines Berhad
Figure 1.1: Malaysia Airlines Homepage The above picture showed the homepage of Malaysia airlines. The web page is easy to use and have simple interface, so it is user friendly and interactive. The web page don’t just have two types of colour that is blue and red. Although Malaysia airlines use only a few of colour , but it looks interesting and nice interface .
HRM ISSUES IN MAS
Pus h and pull factor for the employees
Issue - The push and pull factor is the common problem in any airline industry whereby the pay for the job is demandable and varies according to the offer that is made by the airlines especially for the License Aircraft Engineers (LAE). This situation is often happen in the engineering department in MAS whereby the experienced LAEs that have worked for them for more than 10 years walk away to work with another airlines because of the pulling factor made by the other airlines such as higher salary, more benefits for the employees, exclusive and different working environment, opportunities to live outside of Malaysia and many more pulling factors that are the cause of this situation happens. Same goes t o the pushing factor which is the internal factor of the company that causes the employee to walk away from MAS. According from the Human Resources Management in MAS Aerospace Engineering (MAE) department, the pulling factor from another airline is normal to MAS where other airlines like in the Middle East such as Emirates were expanding and they need ready-made engineers who have working experiences and attitude in supporting their expansion. At the same time, Emirates needed to employ massive numbers of experienced and new employees as fast as possible. This is where the pulling factor is so strong. Same goes to the national low cost carrier, Air Asia whereby a lot of young engineers who have work in MAS for only about 2 to 3 years are being offered by Air Asia to work with them and they paid double or triple the salary that they can get in MAS. Even the veteran who has worked in MAS for more than 15 years left to Air Asia. Then, raise another question, “did MAS aware the pushing factor that cause so many of their engineers left the company?” Pushing factor for MAS is where the airline is bleeding money during in 2005 to 2007. MAS were having a financial problem and the motivation of MAS workers at that time were at the lowest. As f or the employee who did not satisfy with their salary and they were afraid that they will be terminated due to the financial crisis, the employee seeks for another airlines that having more stable in terms of financial and employment management and it was an opportunity for them to get higher salary and make a better living. If an employee who wants to leave MAS will have to fill up a resignation from. In that form, the employee needs to tell the reasons to leave the company. And by doing so, the company knows what is the reasons that become the pushing factor that cause the employees to leave MAS. So, the employees were leaving MAS for a strong push and pull factor. It is a difficult time for MAS to minimize the pushing factor.
As a measure to deal with this problem, MAS have to hire expatriates of engineers from other airlines such as Qantas, Lufthansa, SIA and many more airlines trough out the world. Currently, there are more than 60 expatriates engineers that work in MAS. MAS also had taken an action to minimize the pushing factor by restructuring their corporate strategy. MAS Aerospace Engineering (MAE) has rebranding their vision which is ‘to be the preferred global MRO organization’ and their new mission is ‘to deliver excellent aerospace engineering services, provide value to customers, maximize returns to stakeholders and be the employer of choice’. By rebranding their new vision and mission, MAS Aerospace Engineering comes with the values of safety and quality, passion for excellence, integrity, teamwork and business sense (serve customer, make money, save money). As a result, MAS Aerospace Engineering has been Awarded “Asia Pacific Airframes MRO Center of the Year” by Frost & Sullivan and “Aviation Week’s Overhaul & Maintenance 2009 Best Asia -Pacific Airline MRO Operation. This achievement has made MAS Aerospace Engineering the preferred choice in Asia Pacific region and in the whole world. Further on, MAS has successfully minimizing the pushing factor and this also has become the strong pulling factors for the engineers to stay working in MAS. Deepening into this problem, another issue that is very critical in MAS is the ‘job design’ issue. Job design is the role that plays by a particular person in a particular job. For example, the store man in MAS. The store man in MAS is not wide and it is limited only to that role. Job design is a good solution to minimize pushing factor in a company. If the design of the job is wide and variety, the capacity of earnings can be maximize and the job scope of that particular employee has been enlarged. Furthermore, the salary of the employee can be higher and thus this will lead to maximization of job satisfaction to the employees. This can help to reduce the pushing factor in one organization.
Opinion – In our opinion regarding the pull and push factors, the organization have to minimize the pushing factors that causing employee to run-away from the company and work with another company since the pulling factors are cannot be controlled by the management. The organization needs to practice a healthy and friendly working environment in order to minimize the pushing factors and keep the employees motivation at peak. Besides that, the company has to maintain the performance of the organization to avoid pushing factor and be competitive.
Dis cri minations and divers ity practices
Issue – Discrimination means unfair treatment of a person or group on the basis of prejudice. In other words biasness or unfairness. Discrimination in this case usually refers t o gender discrimination between men and women where women always being looks down by men, or where women have to compete in the men world. On other hand, the "business case for diversity", theorizes that in a global marketplace, a company that employs a diverse workforce (both men and women, people of many generations, people from ethnically and racially diverse in backgrounds and have different traits. In t he aviation industry, diversity practices are applied whereby, men and women work together, differs from ethnicity, backgrounds and beliefs and also work with the people from all around the world because aviation industry is a global industry. But there is a gap between men and women capabilities where women cannot go for a higher position or higher management job such as being appointed as a Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) and likewise. The term is called ‘glass ceiling’ In MAS Aerospace Engineering, men and women are treated fairly. Men and women are doing the same job appointed to them. MAS practices a strong teamwork in their working environment whereby men and women have to collaborate to make sure the job done is at the best quality. When come to a certain level where women who does the technical job such as maintaining the Power plant unit, airframe maintenance, cabin, avionics instruments, auxiliary power unit (APU), radio and many more technical work. After the women get married and have kids, the women engineers or technician will be given an option to be moved to the white collar work. The women engineers given a choice to change to office environment that is proper to married women. The term white-collar worker refers to a salaried professional who performs semi-professional office, administrative, marketing and sales coordination tasks, as opposed to a blue-collar worker, whose job requires manual labor. On the other hand, women who work for MAS have been given other benefit which is a protection for them. Women who have work until late night or working until more than 2200 hour (10 p.m.), they will be provided a free transportation by MAS to send them home. This benefit is stated in the Employment Act 1955 (Act 265) (refer to Appendix). This benefit applies to all women either in technical job or in the white collar job. This is to protect the women employees and to give equal right for the women to compete with men. In addition to that, there are also several more benefits as stated in in the Employment Act such as maternity leave.
Besides that, MAS also have an issue of gender bias practices. In this issue, MAS has discriminated the unfair and unequal treatment of the female cabin crew has a direct impact on women's access to equal opportunities. A memorandum on gender bias practices by the MAS by the joint initiative against gender discrimination was made. The Joint Initiative
strongly disagrees with the discriminatory practices of MAS. They believe that MAS
has discriminated against female cabin crew on the basis of gender and denied them of their right to work in a non-discriminatory and stress-free environment. Bearing in mind women workers make up 60% (2300) of the MAS cabin crew, it is their inalienable right to fair and equal treatment. This memorandum seeks avenues to end gender-based discriminatory practices and to recognize women workers' right to equality and justice. Further on, MAS have an issue regarding the discrimination retirement policy to women stewardess. Women stewardess in MAS has to retire at the age of 40 and another five years extra for those in senior positions. This discrimination is even more pointed when compared to their male stewardess, in which male flight attendants are given the option of retiring at the age of 55(refer to appendix 2) . In this issue, it has become a problem where women who have reached the age of 40 and above are not as attractive as they used to be. This issue has thickening the layer of discrimination to the already sexist and age-ist statement. MAS should start to value their employees beyond perceived gender stereotypes and instead take a REAL look at these women who are vibrant, intelligent and attractive, and who possess an added advantage - experience. If not, and if such ancient principles are continued to be enforced, MAS might find itself in the precarious position of losing such experienced stewardess.
Opinion – From our perspective, MAS did face the discrimination problem frequently. MAS did try to avoid discrimination between their workers and as one of their values is integrity and teamwork in their working environment has made them success. MAS did counter the problem and manage to solve it on its own way. In MAS, both women and men can work in harmony and equally as every opportunity provided by MAS to both men and women are the same as long as they achieve their mission and vision. Diversity in a working environment is a good and conducive working environment.
Employees Union (MASEU)
Is s ue - Employees Union is a representative of the group of the employees in the company to represent the employees. Employees’ Union is usually a separate management of the company and the employee. It is a group. And the union will voice out to the company administration about what they want and they demanded a negotiation between them members and the company’s management. They will negotiate about their salary, benefits, allowances and many other things. Same goes to MAS. In MAS, there is an Employee Union which is called, MAS Employees Union (MASEU) and it is classified as an association. MASEU is the representative of the group people in the company to voice out about their salary, benefits that they can get while working in MAS, what they did not satisfy with the company and many more. In 1971, five new joint councils were introduced without collective bargaining rights. Henceforth, the scope of the union’s role was limited and it me rely assumed consultation status the government. In essence, the government would solely decide on most matters affecting the workers and unions. The same year witnessed the Malaysian Airlines System Employees Union action, which received solidarity support from international workers organizations. This provided the pretext for more restrictive trade union and labour relations laws to control public and private sector unions. A strike was held in an action of demanding pay rise from MAS and resulting the operation of MAS was disrupted. MAS been closed for 2 weeks. About the same time, CUEPACS deputy president A. Ragunathan and secretary general Jamaluddin bin Mohd. Isa had also visited Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and, within two weeks, t he bickering between CUEPACS leaders and the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) became public. That is the beginning of the Employees Union problem. Then, cames several more of the MASEU problem such as demanding of their rights and fairness as mentioned in above issue. MASEU intervention to the management of MAS regarding the dissatisfaction of the demotion of workman, Ungku Yacob Ungku Suleiman This case has been up to the court and it is between MASEU and MAS berhad ( Malays ian
airlines s ys tem bhd v. Malays ian air lines s ys tem employees union penins ular Malays ia indus trial court, J ohor ). The union was unhappy with the decision of the company to demote the workman from the position of customer services officer, a Grade C position to the lower position of customer services agent, a Grade B position. This is a trade dispute referred to the Court by the Honourable Minister of the Human Resources under s. 26(2) of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 ('the Act'). It is in respects of the demotion of one
Ungku Yacob Ungku Suleiman ('the workman'), a member of the Malaysian Airlines System Employees Union, Peninsular Malaysia ('the union') by the Malaysian Airlines System Berhad ('the company'). MASEU has been demanding more and more to MAS about pay rise and more benefits for their members for quite some time and what MAS do to overcome this problem is by dealing closely with MASEU, negotiating with MASEU representative and tried to reasoning with them. MAS cannot simply ignore MASEU because it is protected by the Act and laws. So, what MAS management do is by to treating MASEU nicely. Besides that, MAS also have gained the benefits for their employees to void any dissatisfaction and problems arise by MASEU.
Opinion – Appointing the Employee Union in MAS (MASEU), we observe that Employee Union is a good platform to find out what the employees wants and to survey how the HRM efficiency can be improved from the Employee Union. HRM can work together with Employee Union to handle the problems regarding the Human Capital Management. Further on, MAS can use MASEU as a platform to negotiating with the employees.
Competencies (A s s et or Liabilities)
Issue - What is a k-employee, and who is worthy of such a title? Much has been written on the subject of k-employees, and in our opinion most of it flat misses the mark. In f act, go so far as to say that what most people refer to as k-employees are not really assets, but rather large liabilities. If you allow your organization to be held hostage by those employees who feel like they are indispensable, you are only exacerbating the problem. The need to retain talent and reduce turnover, disputing the conventional wisdom of how most businesses address the risk of managing key employees. A fresh perspective on the employees competencies. To be a competitive airline, the airline should have better performance to compete with other airlines in the world. That was how Malaysia Airlines did to be one of the competitive airlines and become 5 star airlines in the world. Started from domestic carrier in 1947, Malaysia Airlines turned into an international airline in less than a decade. Today, Malaysia Airlines flies around 50,000 passengers daily to some 100 destinations worldwide. The airline holds a lengthy record of service and best practices excellence, having received more than 100 awards in the last 10 years. There are several methods to maintain and improve the organization performance especially in the Engineering Division. Starting from recruitment, they are very strict in selected those employees. They have adopted one method known as, Aptitude Skills Knowledge (ASK). ASK method is that, they need a discipline, punctual and smart employee. Rather than that, they need an employee that has a skills pertaining to the position offered and additional knowledge in aviation field. Besides, the candidate needs to match those requirement that stated by the organization. From ASK method, MAS can filter those who are only the best to work with them and this way, MAS can control the quality of their job and performance of their organization. Moreover, they applied Personal Fatigue Delay (PFD) in order to produce a productivity employee. PFD is the method to measure the working hours of the employee used/spent during carried out the job. These PFD must meet the Day in Life out (DILO) working portion. As example, in Engineering and Maintenance Division, the DILO is 80%. It means that, an employee that work 10 hours a day need to perform 80% from their working hours ; 10hrs x 80% = 8hours. 8 hours is the useful hour to the employee to perform their work, while the other 2 hours is the deduction hours from 10 hours. Usually, the other 2 hours, are for another living activities as a human being that includes going for a break, eat and many
more. That was how the organization measured the productivity of the employees towards to be a performance organization. Since they have introduced and practiced lots of method, unfortunately there are several causes and effects to the organization. These cause and effect need to be monitored and prevented; otherwise it will affect the organization performance
Malaysia Airlines objective is to transform into a Five Star Value Carrier (FSVC) in the future. To become a Five Star Value Carrier, MAS must these have step such as 5-Star, lower costs, competitive fares, generate more customer and revenue, and grow its network. To overcome Malaysia Airlines weakness, a studied is carried out to identify routes which are unprofitable for MAS and discontinuing flight to the destination to minimize its losses and focus on high profitable route. MAS should providing frequent flight at high profitable route. Malaysia Airlines should maintain its relationship with other airlines company. It is important because its allow MAS to landing in other destination internationally, and it also allow to expand its flights and services at the same time. To become a profitable airlines, MAS should reduce on its high operation costs by manage and structure its costs and budgeting. MAS should train or employ staff which can multi-tasking, so it would minimize the problem overstaffing. Malaysia Airlines should use marketing mix technique to employ sales employee who are good in promote and have ideas to improve marketing Malaysia airlines services. Besides, MAS also should give training to its manager in order to improve its management.
GENDER BIAS PRACTICES BY THE MALAYSIA AIRLINE SYSTEM BY THE JOINT INITIATIVE AGAINST GENDER DISCRIMINATION
This memorandum is prepared by the Joint Initiative a gainst Gender Discrimination by the Malaysia Airline System (MAS), the national carrier of Malaysia. This initiative is led by: Malaysia Airline System Employees Union (MASEU) and supported by: All Women's Action Society (AWAM) Women's Development Collective (WDC) Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) Malaysian Trades Unions Congress (MTUC) Women's Committee National Council of Women's Organisations (NCWO) Women's Centre for Change (WCC) Sisters in Islam (SIS)
The Joint Initiative strongly disagrees with the discriminatory practices of MAS. We believe that MAS has discriminated against female cabin crew on the basis of gender and denied them of their right to work in a non-discriminatory and stress-free environment. Bearing i n mind women workers make up 60% (2300) of the MAS cabin crew, it is their inalienable right t o fair and equal treatment. This memorandum seeks avenues to end gender-based discriminatory practices and to recognise women workers' right to equality and justice. ISSUES RAISED AGAINST DISCRIMINATORY PRACTICES
The unfair and unequal treatment of the female cabin crew has a direct impact on women's access to equal opportunities. The differences in treatment are considerable and they are as follows: 1. RETIREMENT AGE Existing Employment Conditions There exists gender biasness in the retirement age, whereby female cabin crew take early retirement at 40 years of age or 45 years for female supervisors, whilst all male cabin crew retire at 55 years of age.
Upon early retirement, a female cabin crew receives a "special gratuit y at the rate of RM800 per year for every completed year of service with the Company". Discriminatory Practices i. The existing employment conditions contravene Article 8 of the Federal Constitution, which clearly states that "there shall be no discrimination on the grounds only of religion, race, descent,
place of birth or gender". This guarantees the right of women and men to equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. The different ages of retirement for MAS female and male cabin crew violate the Federal Constitution. ii. The retirement age for female cabin crew from other international airlines puts to shame the employment policies of MAS. Their retirement age are as indicated below:
Air India 60 years Thai Airways International 60 years Cathay Pacific 60 years All Nippon Airways 65 years Lufthansa 60 years Air Asia 55 years iii. It is also known that double standards are practice d by the management of MAS. For example, expatriate female cabin crew, employed by MAS, are allowed to retire at the age of 60 or 65, in full compliance with their country's employment law. Yet, when it comes to its own Malaysian staff, female cabin crew are forced to retire early. iv. Malaysia is also committed to uphold respect and e quality for women being a signatory to the UN Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Under Article 11 it states that:
1. State Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular: a) The right to work as an inalienable right of all human beings: e) The right to social security, particularly in cases of retirement, unemployment, sickness, invalidity and old age and other incapacity to work, as well as the right to paid leave." This clearly upholds women's right to the same employment opportu nities. The gratuity offered to female cabin crew upon their early retirement is meagre and shows a total disrespect towards the years of contribution that they have made towards building the good image of MAS. Therefore, this gratuity policy becomes irrelevant if MAS increases the retirement age of female cabin crew to 55 years of age. For example, upon early retirement, a female cabin crew will only receive RM16,000 (This is calculated on the following formula: RM800 x 20 years of service) as a token of appreciation for her 20 years of dedication to MAS. This is contrasted with RM414,000 (for 15 extra years of service; this is calculated on the following formula: (RM2,300 salary per month x 12 months x extra 15 years of service) which she will lose due to her early reti rement. It must be noted that this special gratuity is also subjected to taxation. On the other hand, all male cabin crew are allowed to continue to work till they are 55 years of age, with full pay and benefits. It also makes more economic sense to maintain experienced and well-trained female cabin crew than to spend millions of ringgit on advertisement, recruitment and training for newer and less experienced workers. 2. MATERNITY LEAVE Existing Employment Conditions The Collective Agreement between the management of MAS and MASEU states that "a married female cabin crew with five or more years of service … shall be granted leave without pay from the date she is declared medically unfit to fly b y a medical practitioner. The leave without pay shall
commence not later than the end of her second month of pregnancy. She shall not be entitled to medical leave and compassionate leave during the period she is granted leave without pay." Discriminatory Practices i. It must be stressed that income generated by women i s vital for the survival of the family. The denial of seven months' pay in the course of a woman's pregnancy is a violation of worker's right and it does not accord respect and recognition to women's contribution towards the growth and wellbeing of the company.
This further perpetuates the stereotype roles that women's contribution is considered secondary to the workforce of MAS. IiFemale cabin crew should not be penalised based on their reproductive function, i.e. to be pregnant and to have children. Such a maternity policy falls short of ensuring an equit able coverage for women and infringes on their effective right to work.
Article 11 of CEDAW guarantees that equitable maternity benefit as an inalienable right to all human beings. It states the following: 1(f). the right to protection of health and to safety in working conditions, including the safeguarding of the function of reproduction; 2. In order to prevent discrimination against women on the grounds of marriage or maternity and to ensure their effective right to work, State Parties shall take appropriate measures: (a.) To prohibit, subject to the imposition of sanctions, dismissed on the grounds of pregnancy or of maternity leave and discrimination in dismissals on the basis of marital status; (b.) To introduce maternity leave with pay or with comparable social benefits without loss of former employment, seniority or social allowance. In any Collective Agreement, the terms and conditions should leave workers in a better condition as compared with the Employment Act, 1955. This means that a worker is guaranteed of all benefits attached to maternity, including her entitlement to full pay during pregnancy. Unfortunately the Collective Agreement between MAS and MASEU provides for employment conditions that are below the acceptable standards as set by the Employment Act, 1955. 3. TWO SURVIVING CHILDREN Existing Employment Conditions A female cabin crew is only entitled to maternity leave benefits "for not more than two surviving children. In the event that she becomes pregnant after having two surviving children, she shall resign from the Company, failing which the Company reserves the right to terminate her services." Discriminatory Practices i. Limiting female cabin crew to two surviving children indicates a non-compliance to Section 37 (c) of the Employment Act of 1955 (Act 265), which states that it is only when a woman has five or more surviving children that she will not be entitled to any maternity allowance. Ii The female cabin crew should not be terminated on the basis of having a third child. This policy coerces women to fit into a particular pattern of reproduction. This infringes on women's right to choose and to make their own decision freely and resp onsibly in terms of the number, spacing and timing of their children.
Joint Initiative Group against Gender Bias by the Malaysia Airline System demands that the Management of the Malaysia Airlines System revise the employment conditions for female cabin crew with immediate effect. The immediate revisions required are as follows:
1. RETIREMENT AGE To increase the retirement age from 40 years of age at present to 55 years of age as currently practiced for men in similar job position. 2. MATERNITY LEAVE To be entitled to full maternity benefits and this should include full pay, medical leave and compassionate leave during the pregnancy period until confinement. 3. TWO SURVIVING CHILDREN To comply with Section 37 (c) of the Employment Act of 1955 (Act 265) which guarantees a woman the right to full pay and benefits for up to 5 surviving children.
Signed by: Malaysia Airline System Employees Union (MASEU) All Women's Action Society (AWAM) Women's Development Collective (WDC) Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) Malaysian Trades Unions Congress (MTUC) Women's Committee National Council of Women's Organisations (NCWO) Women's Centre for Change (WCC) Sisters in Islam (SIS)
3. Appendix 3
MALAYSIAN AIRLINES SYSTEM BHD v. MALAYSIAN AIRLINES SYSTEM EMPLOYEES UNION PENINSULAR MALAYSIA INDUSTRIAL COURT, JOHOR AWARD NO. 400 OF 2005 [CASE NO: 1/3-16/2004] YUSSOF AHMAD ; EMPLOYER's PANEL: AHMAD SHARIN MOHD NOR ; EMPLOYEE's PANEL: JAMALUDIN KASIM 26 FEBRUARY 2005 AWARD (NO. 400 OF 2005)
This is a trade dispute referred to the Court by the Honourable Minister of the Human Resources under s. 26(2) of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 ('the Act'). It is in respects of the demotion of one Ungku Yacob Ungku Suleiman ('the workman'), a member of the Malaysian Airlines System Employees Union, Peninsular Malaysia ('the union') by the Malaysian Airlines System Berhad ('the company'). The union is unhappy with the decision of the company to demote the workman from the position of customer services officer, a Grade C position to the lower position of customer services agent, a Grade B position. The facts are not in dispute. The workman had been guilty of two charges of 'blocking seats' without authority by a competent Board of Inquiry of the company. The exact charge read as follows: That you, as a Customer Services Officer of the Company, on 21 May 2001, at about 0843 hours, at set address 003EA2 Johor Bharu Airport Terminal Building, had blocked seat numbered 025A, 025B and 025C for flight MH2618/ 21 May 2001 JHB/BKI by using your sign in/check agent code 'HAPD' assigned to you, without authority from the Company and in contravention of the Customer Services Department notice No. 32 dated 19 May 2000 titled 'Seat Blocking for Protection Against Overbooking'. This was done in spite of a previous warning letter dated 13 April 2000 ref JBZ 011 SM1 issued to you for a similar misconduct. You have thereby committed an act of misconduct inconsistent with the fulfilment of your terms and conditions of service with the Company by virtue of Clause 15, Para 15.10, Appendix A of the Acts of Misconduct of the MAS Disciplinary Procedure and such act of misconduct attracts major punishment. The effect of the workman's action was that the seats that were blocked by the workman (without authority) were not available to be sold by the company. This would then allow the company's staff at the airport to release the seats at the last minute to the waiting passengers and to upgrade economy class passengers to business class. It was suspected
that the staff at the airport could be paid by those passengers involved to get the seats or to be upgraded. The company has previously warned the workman before for committing the same misconduct. The punishment imposed on the workman was that he was demoted to a lower grade but he did not suffer a salary reduction. This is not, however, a demotion from an executive position to clerical position. The position of officer in the company did not mean an executive position. At the hearing the workman admitted that he had committed the misconduct but would like to give the reasons why he did it and also he considered the punishment was harsh. In his evidence he explained that he had a good reason for doing what he did. His reason was that the company computer booking system was faulty in that it showed seats were available for sale when actually there was not. These resulted in overbooking and caused problem when some passengers who had confirmed booking cannot be accommodated as there was in fact no seats available in the plane. The court was not satisfied on the balance of probability with the workman's explanation. However, it was satisfied that what the workman did was in breach of a specific instruction not to do this. It is not for the workman to use his own discretion to go against the company's instruction. In respect of the workman's contention that the punishment was harsh in the circumstances the company's evidence was that another employee committing similar misconduct received the same punishment. Learned counsel cited to the Court BR Ghaiye on Misconduct In Employment . The learned author wrote 'the right to control employees is a distinguished feature of the contract of employment. The right to control implies the right to ask the servants what to work (within hours of service) or what not to work, and to do it. When the employee does certain act which is contrary to his position of a subordinate, then he is said to be guilty of insubordination'. This is what the workman did. He was warned not to block seats and he did just that. It does not matter that he thinks he has good reason for doing it. In any event, the court is not satisfied the reason he gave was a good reason. The court is not satisfied by doing what did he prevented overbooking. After hearing the evidence and the submission, the court is satisfied that it was proper for the company in the circumstances to have demoted the workman to a lower grade without loss of salary. We even consider that the punishment in the circumstances was rather lenient. The court therefore dismissed the workman's prayer for reinstatement to his former position. ****** Legislation referred to: Industrial Relations Act 1967, s. 26(2) Other source(s) referred to: BR Ghaiye, Misconduct In Employment For the company - T Thavalingam; M/s Zaid Ibrahim & Co For the union - Mustafar Maarof (V Kanagaratnam); Malaysian Airlines System Employees Union, Peninsular Malaysia
PART VIII - EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN 34. Prohibition of night work (1) Except in accordance with regulations made under this Act or any exemption granted under the proviso to this subsection no employer shall require any female employee to work in any industrial or agricultural undertaking between the hours of ten o'clock in the evening and five o'clock in the morning nor commence work for the day without having had a period of eleven consecutive hours free from such work: Provided that the Director General may, on application made to him in any particular case, exempt in writing any female employee or class of female employees from any restriction in this subsection, subject to any conditions he may impose. (2) Any person -
(a) who is affected by any decision made or condition imposed under the proviso to subsection (1); and (b) who is dissatisfied with such decision or condition,
may within thirty days of such decision or condition being communicated to him appeal in writing therefrom to the Minister. (3) In deciding any appeal made to him under subsection (2), the Minister may make such decision or order thereon, including the alteration or removal of any condition imposed or the imposition of any further condition, as appears just and such decision or order shall be final.
35. Prohibition of underground work No female employee shall be employed in any underground working. 36. Prohibition of employment by Minister Notwithstanding the provisions of this Part the Minister may by order prohibit or permit the employment of female employees in such circumstances or under such conditions as may be described in such order.
Employment Act 1955 (ACT 256) & Regulations, Laws of Malaysia. Publisher: International Law Book Services
International Labour Organization NATLEX database
Letter to the Editor Malaysian Airlines Discriminatory Retirement Policy 4 July 2003 Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) refers to the comment made by Dr. Mohd Don Abdullah, senior general manager (corporate services) of MAS, with regards to the retirement age for air stewardesses ("MAS: We have reason to hire foreigners", The Star , 30 June 2003, Nation 19). Dr. Mohd Don Abdullah stated that MAS had not looked into the retirement age of 40 years (and another five extra year for those in senior positions) because "most women would be expected to be married and have children by then". We believe that Dr. Mohd Don Abdullah and the senior management of MAS would have to find a better justification than that to continue to enforce such early retirement onto their female flight attendants. This discrimination is even more pointed when compared to their male counterparts, where male flight attendants are given the option of retiring at the age of 55. Dr. Mohd Don Abdullahs' statement is in total contradiction to our Government's efforts that encourages Malaysian women to join the workforce and have a retirement age of 50 for women government officials and civil servants. Not only that, the statement is fraught with sexism that places the responsibility of nurturing children only on the shoulders of women. Such understanding harkens to a dinasour era in today's day and age where everyone should recognise that it is the duty of BOTH men and women to care for their children. It is ironic that recognising the multiple burden of women, MAS has not chosen to provide adequate support for their employees but instead chose to wash their hands off the matter by disqualifying their abilities. Hiding behind the notion of freedom of contract cannot absolve this gender discriminatory attitude. The substantive inequality that MAS' principle of employment provides for should really be seriously looked into by the government to check for violation of Article 8(2) of our Federal Constitution, and of the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that Malaysia has ratified to in 1995. In addition, there are millions of women in the workforce who are married and above the age of 40 with children, who have contributed and are continuing to contribute significantly to the Malaysian society. Naming a few are Datuk Rafidah Aziz, Minister for Foreign Trade; Datuk Sharizat Abdul Jalil, Minister for Women and F amily Development; and Datuk Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Deputy Finance Minister. Does this mean then that according to Dr. Mohd Don Abdullah, they should retire because of their age and marital status? Is the senior management of MAS in effect saying that women (who might be married by age 40) are not capable of handling a career and a household at the same time should they choose to? If not, what is the real reason for the age limit on retirement for air stewardesses? Is it because that by the age of 40, these air st ewardesses (women) are not
as attractive as they used to be? If t hat is the real reason, then this adds another layer of discrimination to the already sexist and age-ist statement. MAS should start to value their employees beyond perceived gender stereotypes and instead take a REAL look at these women who are vibrant, intelligent and attractive, and who posses an added advantage experience. If not, and if such ancient principles are continued to be enforced, MAS might find itself in the precarious position of losing the business of all successful working, career women. Where would it find itself then? Mah Xian-Zhen, Intern Jaclyn Kee, Communications Officer