Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Audra Atkinson MAS Chief Stewardess sacrificed a career so that she could have her third child. As such MAS terminated her because she was seen to have contravened a man-made law. She chose God's law instead and was gifted with precious Allyson Jade (centre).

Tomorrow, 5th September, 9.00am, at Industrial Court #19, Datuk Paduka Badariah bt. Hassan will preside over Audra's case. We can only hope that she will look into her heart as a woman and empathise with Audra and once and for all do away with such man-made laws that seem to give the two fingure to the Almighty who in his wisdom and omnipotence made man and woman such that it be ordained that they go forth and multiply. But today man is playing God. Can this be allowed to happen? In my book, whenever a child is conceived and termination of that conception is nothing short of murder - the taking away of a life. Again I call up Datuk Idris Jala, a professed Christian, to do what he only can do for Audra.
I reproduce again this open letter to Datuk Idris that was posted on March 7 2007:
An Open Letter to Mr. Idris Jala
Dear Sir,
I am happy that you have managed to steer MAS into better times. It was a gargantuan task but you have proved your mettle. I have to say that I am proud of you. I definitely am not taking a patronising stand, should it be construed as such.However, the purpose of this letter is to seek your indulgence to look at a matter that relates to this special day.I have full confidence that if you have accomplished so much in such short a time you will be able to help Audra put back her live and the lives of her immediate family into some semblance of normalcy.Audra Atkinson was an employee of MAS for 14 years. Her last designation, before termination in2003, for carrying a third child, was Chief Air Stewardess. Her records, I gather are impeccable. I make this appeal to you for the following reasons:1. As a Christian, I appeal to you to take another look at her case. As a Catholic, Audra is bound by many religious restrictions, chief amongst which are the use of contraceptive pills and abortion.The Catholic Church has recommended to its faithful, the Rhythm Method, a birth-control method. However, because of the complex procedures, there has been cases where this safe method has resulted otherwise. You can imagine the dilemma she was in when she discovered that she had conceived and I am sure you can empathize with her in that state of mind. Abort or lose her job. MAS did not offer her any other choice. She chose God's law over a flawed Collective Agreement that has contravened a basic right of an individual. Was she wrong to get pregnant? She lost her job but she now has the beautiful Allyson Jade Yew.2. Sir, as a former IR practitioner you are aware that a Collective Agreement besides spelling out polices and benefits is essentially a dollars and cents affair. As an IR man with a conscience you will agree that this "stop at two" ruling is not only not humane but unconstitutional. As a husband you would not want your spouse to be in such a bind that Audra was in. You were not involved in that CA process, but in your current position, you can make a difference.3. Your illustrious rise to where you are is prove of your management style. In seminars, I always tell senior managers that their worth is their ability to keep turnover low and their ability to keep talented associates. I tell them that work environment and policies be conducive so that people bring their hearts to work and not leave them in the car park. I tell them that the culture of the company should be such that people WANT to come to work. I know that you are steering MAS in that direction. One of your senior employees told me that you have brought a breath of fresh air into MAS, but in the same breath, he said that he was waiting to spit on the grave of the former owner.4. You have made giant steps to improve operations. The next task I know you will embark on is the nurturing of your human capital. I have travelled extensively and have alwas chosen MAS. Patriotism has never been the criteria, but excellent service is.5. I have made two postings on my blog (http://zorro-zorro-unmasked.blogspot.com). The intention was to get a sense of what people thought of MAS. Some still have faith in MAS, others are angry over how employees are treated. Others are incensed and thinks that the Union has sold-out. It was Masaaki Imai, the Kaizen guru who urged management to listen to the complaints of customers and using their complaints to improve on products and services. With you at the helm, I am convinced that your concerted efforts will be directed at best-in-class management practices for MAS.


GobloKing said...

sorry but do not agree with the part in yr letter on religion.

Religion should not play any part if a biz is based on meritocracy & performance.

Audra getting pregnant or her method of conception as approved by the church is NOT MAS' business ! It is her personal choice.

In appealing to someone of the same faith (& even if Idris Jala did profess to being a Christian), aren't you advocating the practice of what we as Bangsa Malaysia are trying to put a stop to? ie why is the govt hiring mainly malays and therefore muslims?

Audra's termination can be said to stem from "bad timing" - at this time MAS is restructuring and every head count COUNTS.

Her probem could also be due to policies of MAS ie you keep yr shape and weight, after 3 kids you resign etc.

The SOLID reason for supporting Audra would be -

That despite her impeccable record of service, she was terminated - unlike other examples of stewardesses who were NOT fired for having the 3rd or 4th kid.

Cathay Pacific was FOUGHT AND lost IN HK COURT by a Malaysian Stewardess Lily Koh Geok Beng 10 years ago who claimed discrimination at CX for different retiring ages of cabin crew determined by their gender and not by other criteria....men can retire at 55 and women - who despite keeping their shape and have impeccable service records - must retire by 45!

Because of her courtcase, CX revised its retirement age limit to be the same for all cabin crew and MANY MANY women benefitted from this change.

So if Audra wants to fight for her job, it is the policy (if it is indeed the policy) she has to fight against OR she has to show

- proof of unfair dismissal ie other women with 3 kids are still retained

- proof she was penalized due to her religious conviction ie all catholics or all christians were terminated while others of a different faith (with several kids) were retained

Limited Desire said...

Dear Sir

I commend you for supporting Audra based on God's law against contraception. Many religions are also against it. To challenge the collective agreement, Tony may have to take his fight all the way to the Federal court.

Yet, you seek rules on suggestive dressing by foreign artistes be done with. I can see that you are quite liberal with kids going on a hormonal thrill ride. Perhaps not for other parents.

My limited understanding of Christianity or many other religions tells me that those sort of dressing as unacceptable. Many traditional eastern values would not consider those as modest dressing.

If that is the case, you stand the possibility of being inconsistent. On one issue, you use religion as a basis of your argument but not for the other. Isn't upholding to a faith be comprehensive rather than selective? BTW, I am not Christian. My assumptions may be wrong.

Anyway, all the best tomorrow for Audra and Tony. There are certainly lots of gender issues that needs addressing. Shahrizat is so damn slowwwww ....

My prayers with you'll.

Jack said...

My humble opinion is once you have agree to the terms, you need to comply with it, no matter how unfair it may seem to you, unless it contravenes some other provisions of the constitution, in which case, that clause will be rendered void. At this moment, Ms Atkinson can only appeal to MAS to agree to waive this provision of the collective agreement which I doubt they will do.

Perhaps she should go after the union for agreeing to his clause in the first place.


zorro said...

Jack, i have always maintained that the Collective Agreement is an agreement between the Union and Management. I have participated in this exercise many a time. It is a bargaining exercise. I give some I take some. It is man-made...and therefore can be changed. I agree that over the years the union have sacrificed their people's rights for a few dollars. I was in court on Wednesday. She will not win the case. She and her union-appointed lawyer were bullied outright by the MAS lawyer. We are in the process of discharging this lawyer and will take this to the High Court and work towards the contravention of the right to life. Thanks for your input Jack.