Thousands Of Malindo Staff Sign Off After The Airline's Latest Retrenchment Exercise

More than 2,000 people working for Malindo Air lost their jobs over the week.

Cover image via @arsysbri (Twitter) & @irriananana (Twitter)

The airline industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic with thousands and thousands of crew members losing their jobs

Malindo Airways (Malindo Air) is one such airline, which recently had to downsize its operations and reduce its workforce by 2,200 personnel from its original 3,200 staff, retaining only about 1,000 personnel.

Those who lost their jobs received a three-month salary package as part of their severance pay.

The company, however, is not paying the severance pay in bulk.

"Just instalment for three months," a staff who is among those retrenched told this SAYS writer.

According to the staff, whose name SAYS is not revealing for privacy, Malindo Air was being "really secretive" about the retrenchment exercise as the staff didn't even know that 30 October was their last day.

"They changed our schedule at 12am. I woke up and found out that I didn't have to go to work anymore and two days later I got retrenched," she told us, adding, "the saddest part about it was we planned to say goodbye and make a farewell party in the office but we were not allowed to come in anymore."

She hinted at the company being afraid of the staff sabotaging the aeroplanes.

I didn't even get to clear my stuff from the office.

Many of those who lost their jobs have since taken to social media to sign off while sharing the memories they made with the airline

The tweets from the Malindo staff prompted a flurry of reactions from netizens, who wished them luck.

One of the retrenched staff SAYS spoke to related that breaking up with her ambition is way sadder than breaking up with her boyfriend

According to her, the situation now is hard for most of them because qualification is very specific.

"I have a CAAM Part-66 Aircraft Maintenance Licence (AML). So most of us will just opt for some business, retail work, etc." the Aircraft maintenance engineering department staff told us.

She also said that since COVID-19 forced airlines to ground almost all passenger flights, some of the engineers working with her had to work part-time as cleaners, Foodpanda riders, etc.

Meanwhile, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, the 27-year-old member of Parliament (MP) from Muar who recently co-founded MUDA, said that the government should seriously look into the massive lay-offs

"Either synergise the entire flight industry in Malaysia or find a way to assist all the retrenched individuals by re-skilling or placing them in a new industry," the Muar MP tweeted last night, 31 October.

Syed Saddiq added that he also voiced his concerns about the issue during his meeting with Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz on Friday.

"Hopefully, together we'll find the best solution."

Additionally, the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM) has criticised Malindo Air for carrying out the retrenchments despite receiving government aid that could stave off more job cuts

According to a report by Free Malaysia Today, NUFAM highlighted that the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO) had paid Malindo close to RM3 million under the Employee Retention Programme (ERP).

"The Malindo Airways management appears to use the most drastic way to retrench their workers. However, is the airline insolvent or bankrupt already? There is a need to mitigate these issues first before the airline decides to let go these 2,000 workers," read the NUFAM statement, as reported by FMT.

Earlier in June this year, a SOCSO study had predicted that job losses in Malaysia will increase by 200% in later quarters of 2020:

In fact, Malaysia's unemployment rate is expected to balloon to 13% and see 2.4 million citizens without a job, according to EPF:

Also, read what official data reveals about Malaysia's labour force:

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