by Muzliza Mustafa
The Malaysian Insider
May 30, 2014
Family members of crew on board flight MH370 have hit out at the Malaysia Airlines union for calling for another body to deal with efforts and issues regarding the missing jetliner.
Jacquita Gonzales, wife of inflight supervisor Patrick Francis Gomes who was one of the 12 crew on flight MH370, said she was disheartened by the statement made by the Malaysian Airlines System Employees Union (Maseu), a union representing 8,000 of MAS’s 13,500 employees.
“I was upset and I broke down when I read the article. The phrase where he said to put us aside and allow other entity to look after our interest just brought us back to March 8.”
Mohd Jabbarullah Abd Kadir, executive secretary of Maseu, yesterday in a statement said MAS had handled the flight MH370 tragedy in the “best” possible way, adding that the loss-making airlines needs to move forward to ensure it stays afloat.
He also reiterated call for several top management figures in MAS to resign “with dignity”, saying that the union feels that the company has to focus on restoring its image and fortunes.
But, Gonzales said that MAS’s rebuilding should not be at the expense of caring for its employees.
“To build MAS does not mean to put the care and the welfare of its employees aside.
“We are not robots. We used to be top priority, now with this statement, it made us feel that their priority has shifted,” she said.
Jabbarullah also defended Putrajaya’s handling of the crisis, insisting that despite widespread criticism, all necessary steps were taken.
“I think what MAS has done, the government has done, that is the best,” he told reporters at the union’s office.
He added that the airline does not “compromise” on safety, citing as proof the existence of former MAS pilots, engineers and cabin crews in other airlines globally.
Shedding light on Maseu’s role in helping the families of crew aboard MH370, Gonzales said she never received any calls representing the union.
“They claimed they kept in touch with us but I never received any calls or messages from them,” she said.
Another family member also called the union a “bluff” for saying that they kept in touch with the families.
“The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) has been there for us. Both Maseu and Nufam are unions. If Nufam can reach out why not Maseu?”
Nufam is a registered union representing all cabin crew.
The anonymous family member also chided Maseu for its contradictory statement on MAS over MH370 and its desire to see a revamp of the airlines’s top brass.
“First they ‘applaud’ the airline for doing their best and now they want for the top management to resign. What is this?”
He said Maseu’s act was only a publicity stunt to get the message across.
“I believe it was just a publicity stunt. I am puzzled and wonder why they said what the said about having other body to handle MH370 matters and families of those on board as well as MAS role in this matter.”
Flight MH370, carrying 239 passengers and crew, disappeared on March 8 during a scheduled service between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. It is believed to have ended its flight in the southern Indian Ocean, off western Australia. – May 30, 2014.