PETALING JAYA: The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) has hit back at outgoing Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) Chief Executive Officer Christoph Mueller, labelling him as an outsider who did not understand the local work culture.
“The problem with him is that he is an outsider and he might not understand the work culture in this country,” Nufam President Ismail Nasaruddin said in a statement today.
He was responding to Mueller’s statement earlier that 6,000 jobs had to be slashed because many workers in the airline were unproductive and some were even found dozing off in hangars.
“He needs to understand that there are many workers in the operation who work for 24 hours and some of them do overtime, which causes exhaustion.”
In a statement, Nufam said that it was simply impossible for a staff member to come to work just to sleep.
“Why would they want to sleep in the office? They might as well sleep at home as it is more comfortable.”
Nufam wanted to know if Mueller also meant that the airline’s cabin crew was found sleeping on the job.
“If they are all sleeping, then who is preparing the food and drinks in the plane? Could it be a ghost?”
Cabin crew, too, need to sleep as it is important to freshen up on a long-haul journey, Nufam said.
“Sleep cannot be used as an excuse for MAB to terminate workers.”
Nufam reminded Mueller that Virgin Airlines was encouraging its workers to take a nap when tired.
“This is a humane trait in high-ranking airlines. They are more understanding of worker’s conditions rather than manipulating them as ‘spare parts’ in their company.
“We also believe that Mueller will definitely take the opportunity to nap when he is exhausted from a tight schedule.”
In an interview with German broadcaster Deutsche Welle earlier this week, Mueller said many workers were found slacking off and doing “nothing” on the job when he first took up the position as CEO of MAB.