Fong: Resolve CAs quickly

  • Nation
  • Friday, 17 Jan 2003

PETALING JAYA: Collective Agreements (CA) on workers’ wages between managements and unions should be resolved within three months at the most, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn yesterday. 

He said his ministry would intervene if requested to resolve CA negotiations. 

“If both the management and union request us to intervene, we are willing to shorten the negotiation process or refer the matter to the Industrial Court,” Bernama reported him as saying. 

On the tussle between MTUC president Zainal Rampak and his deputy, Mohd Shafie B.P. Mammal, Dr Fong said his ministry would not hesitate to intervene if it threatened to destabilise the nation’s industrial relations mechanism. 

He said his ministry would have to do so as it was the ministry’s paramount duty to ensure the problem would not shortchange the nation’s workforce. 

Dr Fong was speaking to reporters after witnessing a CA signing between Guinness Anchor Berhad (GAB) and Union of Beverage Industry Workers (UBIW) yesterday. 

However, he said he was confident that common sense would prevail in the MTUC and the problem would to be settled soon. 

Shafie and Zainal are locked in a dispute over the MUTC president's decision not to honour a pact he made with his deputy to step down and hand over power this year. 

On the CA between GAB and the UBIW, Dr Fong said it represented teamwork between a forward-looking management and union to forge ahead for mutual benefit. 

The minister praised the union and management for being the first to have a technologically-savvy CA signing ceremony using newly-introduced tablet PCs as opposed to the traditional paper and pen. 

“This signing ceremony reflects the willingness of the parties involved to advance with the times and break new ground,” said Dr Fong. 

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