Nufam to gov’t: Are you throwing us under the bus?

BUDGET 2021 offers very little solution to the ailing airline industry and those affected by it, said the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam).

Speaking to FocusM, Nufam secretariat said while the airline industry was one of the biggest economic contributors to the economy prior to the pandemic, the industry received little help under the budget.

“The airline industry is one the highest contributor to the economy but we only received pittance. We lost more than RM15 bil but the Government is just encouraging more layoffs,” it said.

Yesterday, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz tabled Budget 2021 at the Dewan Rakyat, worth RM322.54 bil.

The expansive budget was an addition to the six stimulus packages worth over RM300 bil announced this year, aimed at reviving the economy and push assistance towards those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the budget, the Government made an allocation of RM50 mil to retrain 8,000 airline staff members who were affected by the economic crunch.

Calling the sum pittance, Nufam said the Government should divert more resources and funds to keep the airline industry afloat and avoid redundancy.

It cited Singapore as an example, where its Government had agreed to cover losses of the airline industry until next year.

“And the sum amounted to US$750 mil. Much of it went to support those who lost their jobs but what did we get?” it asked.

For now, Nufam said, retrenched staff only have the Employees Insurance Scheme (EIS) to rely on to keep themselves going until they find a new job.

“But it will not be enough to cover their daily expenses and the Government gives them nothing else to weather an economic storm,” it said.

Last month, AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Bhd announced that it would retrench 10% of their 24,000 employees. This was after the low-cost carrier had already laid off more than 250 of its staff in June due to the pandemic.

Last week, Malindo Air laid off 2,000 of its staff. That accounts for more than half of its 3,200 strong workforce. – Nov 7, 2020

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