PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has hired 60 flight attendants from India and will start its recruitment drive in China next month.
MAS senior general manager (corporate services) Dr Mohd Don Abdullah said the objective of hiring foreigners was to elevate the airlines’ presence in these two countries.
“We hired Indian nationals last year and are in the process of getting their visas approved.
“As for the Chinese, we have always wanted to do a recruitment there (in China) but our plans were shelved due to the SARS outbreak,” said Dr Mohd Don.
He added they would be going to Beijing to start a recruitment drive and expect to hire between 30 and 40 flight stewardesses.
Malaysia Airlines System Employees Union (Maseu) earlier in the morning held a press conference to express their dismay that foreigners were being hired despite the fact that the country has people of many races, who could serve on these routes.
“We have no intention of disrupting the national carrier’s expansion plans, but what we are asking is for them to look into the welfare of the 4,200 crew members who badly need attention first,” Maseu deputy president Ungku Yuzaph Ungku Ahmad said during a conference held by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) at Wisma TWU.
He added that there were many unresolved issues regarding the local cabin crew, such as the retirement age and maternity leave.
He said MAS has not looked into their plea to increase the retirement age for air stewardesses that currently stands at 40 years and another five extra years for those in senior positions.
“We have been on these issues for many years but MAS has turned a deaf ear,'' said Ungku Yuzaph.
Dr Mohd Don said that all MAS flight attendants were well informed on the terms and conditions of their employment as it was stated in their contracts.
“If they had read the contract and were not happy with the terms and conditions, why then accept the job?” he asked.
He also said that the reason for setting an age limit for air stewardesses was because most women would be expected to be married and have children by then.
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