Thursday, September 8, 2011

MTUC: Better perks needed to attract locals


PETALING JAYA: The Government must improve salaries and benefits of blue-collar workers if it wants to attract locals and reduce the country's dependence on foreign workers.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) vice-president Mohd Roszeli Majid welcomed the Government's announcement that the over one million job vacancies it had identified would be offered to locals first.

The 1,051,427 job vacancies are in five main sectors manufacturing, plantation, agriculture, construction and production.

Roszeli said the Government must improve the “overall package” for local workers including housing, medical, and transport benefits.
National Union of Plantation Workers (NUPW) secretary-general Datuk G. Sankaran urged the Government to set a decent salary for plantation workers as there was no replacement for older workers who had retired.
“Young people prefer factory jobs but there are so many vacancies in plantations. We badly need local workers,” he said.

Just do it: Mustafa tells locals to “meet the challenge”.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Tan Sri Mustafa Mansur urged local workers to “meet the challenge”.
He said higher salaries would depend on their skills, pointing out that highly-skilled construction and factory workers in Europe were well-paid.
“If they don't take up the jobs, we will continue to have a problem of too many foreign workers in the country,” he said.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said he hoped the Government would proactively find Malaysians to fill the vacancies and not just pay “lip service” by hiring illegal immigrants instead.

He said the Government had to try and encourage locals to venture into these job sectors, especially unemployed country manager Chook Yuh Yng said locals were likely to take up these jobs if the wages were fair.
She said this was imperative as the cost of living was going up.
Recruiter Royce Cheah said locals in rural areas should be more willing to take up these jobs.

MAS unions in labour action threat over AirAsia deal

UPDATED @ 04:35:34 PM 08-09-2011

September 08, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — Three unions in Malaysia Airlines representing about 15,000 employees have threatened picket action over the national carrier’s share swap exercise with AirAsia.

Union representatives told reporters today that they feel the deal would not benefit MAS, and that they suspect the carrier’s new management team was planning the creation of a new brand within the airline as part of a union-busting move.
“We do not agree with the collaboration or the move to establish the new airline Sapphire (under the deal),” said MAS Employees’ Union (Maseu) president Alias Aziz.
Maseu is joining the Airline Workers Union of Sarawak and Air Transport Workers Union of Sabah in threatening industrial action in the attempt to stop the share-swap from going ahead.

In an attempt to bolster the fortunes of the flag carrier, state asset manager Khazanah Nasional Berhad swapped 20.5 per cent of MAS stock for a 10 per cent stake in Asia’s biggest budget carrier AirAsia on August 9.
The swap enabled AirAsia bosses Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and his partner Datuk Seri Kamaruddin Meranun to sit on the MAS board and will ostensibly help turn it around.
Khazanah has denied that AirAsia was bailing out MAS.
Shareholders of AirAsia will get one free MAS warrant for every 10 shares in the low-cost carrier while MAS shareholders will get one free AirAsia warrant for every 30 MAS shares.

MAS announced in August a net loss of RM527 million for the second quarter of 2011 due to higher fuel costs despite recording a better yield and a 9 per cent growth in passenger revenue from the same period last year.
This brings total losses in the first half of the year to RM769 million even as the airline said that profit outlook for the second half of the year appears bleak.
Its main regional competitor Singapore Airlines, while also hit by higher fuel costs fared better with a S$44.7 million (RM108 million) net profit for the same period.

The flag carrier said its group total revenues increased to RM3.485 billion for the second quarter of 2011, or eight per cent more than the RM3.213 billion for the same quarter last year, while passenger revenue was RM2.086 billion for the same period this year compared to RM1.912 billion for the corresponding period in 2010.
Maseu secretary-general Abdul Malek Arif claimed today the union expected up to 80 per cent of the company’s staff to be transferred to Sapphire.

He said such a move would dilute the union’s membership and affect its ability to represent the employees who will no longer be represented in the new airline.

Bank union says government popularity waning over rising living costs

By Yow Hong Chieh

September 06, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Sep 6 — The National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) said today it

will embark on a roadshow to highlight the widening income gap between clerical workers and management at Maybank Bhd, adding that the Najib administration’s popularity was waning because of inflation and cost of living issues.
NUBE secretary-general J. Solomon said today the union, which represents some 30,000 clerical staff in the banking sector, had no choice but to hold the roadshow after Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s prolonged silence over its pay dispute with Malaysia’s largest bank.

“The silence of the prime minister to act on complaints against Maybank, a government-linked company (GLC), will not endear him to the public,” Solomon said in a statement.

“Maybank is boldly and brutally violating international standards of human rights, making a mockery of Malaysian laws, and making wider an already huge income divide.”
He warned that the alleged exploitation of workers and the undermining of trade union rights by Maybank would have a direct impact on bank workers and could spread to all Malaysian workers if such practices are not stopped.

NUBE has been in dispute with Maybank over bonuses since June 2009.
The union is seeking an 80-month bonus for its members based on the rationale that NUBE members should receive the same eight-month bonus that the bank’s senior managers and contract officers had been receiving annually for the past 10 years.
Maybank’s in-house union, the Maybank Non-Executive Employees Union (Mayneu), has alleged that the “sudden demand” for the 80-month bonus was a ploy by NUBE to stop its members from joining Mayneu, which was set up in January.

Solomon also said today that the Najib administration’s growing unpopularity could be attributed to the “yawning gap” between the rich and the poor, rapidly rising inflation and the exploitation of workers by large corporations.

“With massive anti-union activities, reduced rights and diminishing real income levels, Malaysians are frustrated and this feeling is boiling over,” he said.
“Government policies are catered towards businesses growing. This, by itself, is the right thing to do but it is being done at the expense of Malaysian workers.”


Posted by admin News Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

Rashdan Yusof (right)

By Yang Berhormat Wee Chee Keong, Ahli Parlimen Bukit Bintang
Because of the one sided Media Prima and TheStar newspaper reporting, Malaysians thought AirAsia/AirAsia X Sdn Bhd/Tan Sri Tony Fernandes were coming into MAS to SAVE MAS.

I am proud to receive the comments below from MAS Union. Unfortunately, The Star, which has been publishing rosy stories about AirAsia/AirAsia X Sdn Bhd and Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, did not bother to attend the MAS Union press conference on 27th August, 2011. So Malaysians like you and I were deprived of the views of MAS Union. So forgive us for being led by the nose to believe that without Khazanah Naisonal Bhd signing the “TOP SECRET MAS – AIRASIA SHARE SWAP” on 8th August, . MAS would have collapsed. The Khazanah Naional Bhd top management, the former BINAFIKIR SDN BHD boys would like Malaysians to believe that the said share swap would have affected our national security so had to be negotiated in “darkness”!. Khazanah Nasional Bhd handpicked , the WAU , specialist, En Mohammed Rashdan Yusof (aka Danny) , to head MAS now.

By the way, in 2009 BINAFIKIR SDN BHD was appointed the advisor of MAHB. I wonder at that material time did BINAFIKIR Sdn Bhd advise MAHB to take direct actions against AirAsia Bhd to recover more than RM125 million airport tax debts, which have been collected in cash from the passengers since its inception. Perhaps at that material time “kemungkinan besar mereka TAK FIKIR” MAHB, the Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Finance were in the SLEEPY MODE until they didn’t know that AirAsia Bhd was owing MAHB huge sum of Airport Taxes for years. Don’t tell me that MAHB’s auditorS did not question MAHB’s director about this huge Airport Tax debts.

Thump up for Tan Sri Tony Fernandes for being so capable that MAHB, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the then Minister of Transport, YB Datuk Chan Kong Choy, Minister of Finance II, YB Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yacop, Minister of Finance, YB Tun Abdullah Badawi, did not bother about the RM125 million Airport Tax debts.
Below is the MAS Union comments.

“Dear Mr. Wee,
I am representing the MAS staff union. FYI, we had a press conference against the interference of AA in managing MAS. We also made recommendation to promote MAS internal senior staff such Dato’ Salleh Tabrani (Tak Berani) or Zaiful as MAS new MD. Our press conference were held on 27th August 2011 and NTV 7, Berita Harian, Utusan, STAR and Bernama were invited but they went on silent the next day. Our press conference was only aired by NTV 7 and TV 3. Bernama and STAR did not turn up and Bernama apologised as it is not their jurisdiction.
Could you please look into why our local medias are so silence about our stand? Thank you and thank you very much for your fraternity support.”

Thank you MAS Union. Please be assured that you are not alone in this fight for justice for MAS. Firefly was under attacks the very moment Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar inked the share swap agreement. No wonder Datuk Eddy Leong is calling it a day in Firefly. I cannot blame Datuk Eddy Leong who has put in so much effort in Firefly to be what it is today. Now Firefly became House Fly.

When Khazanah bought the 10% share of AirAsia X Sdn Bhd then the future of MAS will not be hard to determine. Please take note that in those rosy press reports on this subject, they have not ruled out cutting down the work force in MAS.