Factory workers in a bind over income dispute

ABOUT 80 union members of a factory producing rubber bands staged a peaceful demonstration outside their work place at Solok Perusahaan 1, in Prai, Penang.

National Union of Employees senior industrial relation officer K. Veeriah said the picket was held from 3pm to 5.30pm on Friday following a deadlock in their 13th collective agreement (CA) between the union and the company.

He said a total of five meetings had been held, the last on Mar 27 after their CA talk stalled.

“Among the issues are salary adjustment, bonus payments and annual increment,” added Veeriah, who is also Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary.

He said the company did not want to offer anything more than 3% in their basic salary adjustments.

“The company also plans to remove the two-month bonus and introduce attendance-based bonus where many of our members will be receiving less than two months.

“The company does not want to raise the ceiling of its workers’ basic salary, where those drawing maximum salaries will not receive any annual increment,” he told reporters at the scene.

Veeriah said a meeting would be held with officials from the Human Resources Ministry tomorrow.

Mat Zaki Shaari, 51, said he has been working there for the last 29 years and it was the first time the company was allegedly seen as giving priorities to foreign workers rather than to the locals.

“Stopping the basic salary increments and annual bonuses is not only unfair, but will affect the income of our long-serving senior employees,” he said.

Another worker, Samsudin Saad, 52, said grading and coordination of wages should be made through the proper channel.

Meanwhile, the company’s management could not be reached for comment.

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Courts & Crime , demonstration


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