Protest against unpaid leave move


  • Nation
  • Monday, 31 Mar 2003

BY WANI MUTHIAH

PETALING JAYA: MTUC will submit a protest letter to the Human Resources Ministry over the recent request by local employers to impose unpaid leave on employees to minimise the impact of the Iraq war on their businesses. 

MTUC president Zainal Rampak said the general council, which met yesterday, was also concerned over Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn’s statement that the request was better than retrenchments. 

“The employers are using the Iraqi situation to victimise their employees as well as to avoid paying retrenchment benefits as stipulated by the Employment Act,” he told reporters after the meeting. 

He alleged that it was a ploy by employers because workers would resort to looking for other jobs if unpaid leave was prolonged. 

This, he added, would result in employers being spared from compensating affected staff since they were neither retrenched nor terminated from their jobs. 

On another matter, MTUC secretary-general G. Rajasekaran said congress affiliates were upset with the EPF’s investment panel for not informing or conferring with the fund’s board prior to making investments. 

“The law stipulates that the panel is required to act under the direct guidance and supervision of the EPF board and cannot function independently, but yet the board is never informed of the provident fund’s investment plans,” he said. 

He added that the EPF was also renting office space in Amcorp Mall even though its old building, located in nearby Jalan Gasing, was under-occupied.  

Rajasekaran also said that MTUC had decided to hold a nationwide picket if EPF were to declare anything less than a 5% dividend for last year. 

(If the dividend is less than 5%, it will be the lowest in 40 years.)  

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