Layoffs, Layoffs

GEORGE TOWN (Dec 29): More than 2,000 factory workers in Penang have been retrenched in the past three months and more are expected to lose their jobs in the coming months, said Malaysian Trades Union Congress Penang branch chairman Abdul Razak Abdul Hamid.

“We expect that more people will be laid off next year as the economic situation continue to slowdown,” he told theSun today.

Abdul Razak said even those who were not laid off are suffering as many companies are cutting down overtime and working hours, imposing pay cuts and even shutting down operations for long periods of time and forcing workers to take unpaid leave.

He said the Human Resources Ministry keeps saying the economic fundamentals are strong but this is not what the workers face in their day-to-day working life.

“The ministry only knows how to give figures of people being retrenched but they do not offer a solution to help them,” he said.

“We want the ministry to come up with a clear plan to help workers who have been laid off as we can foresee that more workers will lose their jobs in the next few months.”

He said the ministry gave the industries the go-ahead to cut down overtime and working hours which will only hurt the workers.

“They should get the industries to look at cutting costs without affecting the take-home pay of workers.” He said the ministry must set up a special task force to help retrenched workers.

“We have proposed that a taskforce to help retrenched workers be set up but so far, there has been no action,” he said.

Why is it that during good times those industries did not share their high profits with the workers but when times are bad, the workers will have to suffer from pay cuts so that they can reduce costs?” he said.

Updated: 09:55PM Mon, 29 Dec 2008

SOURCE: The Sun – “More than 2,000 retrenched in Penang in three months