MTUC plans nationwide pickets


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 20 Apr 2003

BY SIM LEOI LEOI AND WANI MUTHIAH

SEPANG: MTUC is planning to hold pickets outside Employees Provident Fund (EPF) offices nationwide to protest the low dividend declared for last year.  

Its president Zainal Rampak said workers had compromised “enough” over the matter and had remained patient despite receiving pay cuts and being retrenched, especially at the height of the economic crisis in 1998. 

“We are disappointed that despite several appeals, EPF has gone ahead to declare its lowest dividend rate ever in 40 years,” he told reporters here yesterday. 

Zainal said MTUC would hold an emergency council meeting tomorrow to fix a date for the pickets. 

On Friday, EPF declared a dividend of 4.25% as compared to 5% for 2001, representing a payout of RM7.74bil against RM8.35bil for the previous year. 

The last time the fund declared a dividend below 5% was in 1962, when it paid out 4%. 

Deputy Human Resources Minister Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad said union leaders should not try to resolve disputes by resorting to pickets. 

“They must understand the economic reasons behind EPF’s decision. There is no need to picket now as this will only affect industrial harmony,” he said.  

In Petaling Jaya, Asia-Pacific Public Sector Union secretary A.H. Ponniah said the fund’s investment structure must be reconfigured along the lines as certain target-specific investment agencies which received government support to generate income. 

The Government, he noted, would have to place EPF on the top of its investment allocation list for this to be possible.  

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