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26 Ogos 2008

CUEPACS WANTS CM TO INTERVENE IN SOFA RETRENCHMENT ISSUE

From Daily Sabah
26 August, 2003

Kota Kinabalu: Cuepacs President Datuk Siva Subramaniam Monday appealed to Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Musa Haji Aman to use his good office to resolve the issue of retrenchment of 33 workers of the Sabah Forest Development Authority (Safoda) in June.
He said the Chief Minister’s intervention was necessary as the appeal of the workers, mostly from the support group, had gone unheeded previously.
Cuepacs felt that the workers’ retrenchment compensation should be commensurate with their period of service - one month’s salary for every year of service or be given the opportunity to work with another government agency, Siva said.
“Most of them had served Safoda for between 15 and 24 years but they have just been given an honorarium of three months’ salary...surely this is not fair to the workers concerned,” he told the media after meeting the affected workers.
“They used their services for so many years and when their services were no longer needed, they were stopped just like that with so little compensation. Their welfare should be taken into account, especially when most of them have families,” Siva said.
He said Cuepacs was seeking an early appointment with the Chief Minister to find a way of resolving the issue amicably.
“Cuepacs is confident that the Chief Minister will help settle this problem and we will do our best to ensure the welfare of the workers concerned.”
Siva said all the workers were aged 45 and above and received their service termination notices on June 9 and became effective June 15.
“It is not that Safoda cannot downsize its operations, but it should also give due consideration to the workers’ welfare. The children of some of the workers are still studying and they need money,” he said.
He said Cuepacs would also write to the Chief Minister so that investigations could be made over the issue of EPF contributions by Safoda employees.
“The workers’ salary slips showed deductions had been made for EPF but records at the EPF showed that no money had been sent over...we want this matter to be investigated,” he said.
Siva said the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister always gave the opportunity for trade union representatives, including those from Cuepacs, to meet them to discuss problems faced by workers and he expressed the hope this would also be practised in Sabah.
“Cuepacs hopes heads of government department in Sabah will be ready to meet trade union representatives to resolve problems that arise,” he said.
“Many problems remain unresolved because of the refusal of the heads of department to meet representatives of unions including those from Cuepacs,” Siva said.
Siva also regretted the attitude of the Sabah Labour Department, which was said to be not interested in helping the Safoda workers to resolve their problem.
“Even if the problem being raised does not come under its jurisdiction, the Labour Department should still try to help...that it is why there is such a thing as Labour Department...to look after the welfare of workers,” Siva added.- Bernama

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