The 400,000 workers in government-linked companies (GLCs) have been forewarned to brace for a salary cut by September because of the economic downturn, MTUC vice-president Mustafa Maarof disclosed today.
This was conveyed to the unions when the management of these companies headed by Khazanah Nasional met the workers’ representatives recently.
Mustafa, who is also the executive secretary of the Malaysia Airlines System (MAS) Employees Union, told Bernama that the management also told them that “if the salary cut does not improve the companies” results, then they should expect to be subjected to either a mutual separation scheme (MSS) or voluntary separation scheme (VSS)”.
Besides MAS, 90 other companies are also categorised as GLCs, among them, Sime Darby, Tenaga Nasional, Telekom Malaysia, Felda, Felcra, Pos Malaysia and Bernas.
Almost 200,000 of the workers in these companies are former civil servants who opted for the new entities when their departments were privatised in the early 80’s and 90’s.
Mustafa said the GLCs should not use the economic downturn as a reason for their move to reduce their workforce.
“We understand that some of the companies are doing very well and their top executives are highly paid and enjoy excellent perks like large bonuses and entertainment allowance.
“What they intend to do is to retrench the middle and lower-level staff.
“But why should the general workers be penalised for the weakness in management?” he said.
Moreover, he added, the government had assured that as far as possible it would prevent job cuts and had allocated sufficient money under the second economic stimulus package.
Meanwhile, the president of the newly-formed Congress of Unions in GLCs Malaysia, Mohamed Shafie B.P. Mammal, said the workers would soon submit a memorandum to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on their grouses, particularly the pension formulas and pensionable age and promotional opportunities.
According to him, almost 80 per cent of workers in the GLCs who were former civil servants were getting pensions of less than RM200 per month.
“We will be asking the government to increase the minimum pension to RM720 per month as being enjoyed by their counterparts in the civil service,” he said.
Mohamed Shafie said the other demands were to raise the pension age to 58 years, and to stop the frequent restructuring and reorganisation of GLCs and the frequent change of CEOs of the GLCs.
He said promotional opportunities were also much less for the workers because the management were bringing in new workers from outside and putting them in higher positions.
This, he pointed out, was detrimental to the morale and productivity of the workers. – Bernama