The partial payment of RM500 made to about 100 staff of Bernama TV is seen as a clear violation of the Employment Act 1955, said the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC).
Its secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam said according to the Employment Act a staff’s salary should be paid by the 7th of the following month.
“The Employment Act is very clear that salaries must be paid by the 7th of the following month. Continued delay in salary is no excuse and it is unfair and unjust towards these workers,” he said in a statement today.
The union also expressed its concern over the matter stating that the payment made will not meet an individual’s daily expenses.
“With today’s cost of living on the rise, how can one be expected to meet their daily expenses with a mere RM500 advancement.
“These workers have monthly commitment to their family of at least RM1000 to meet their rental, grocery, preparation for the coming school year and other expenses,” said Gopal.
The union added that the Malaysian News National Agency (Bernama) should take responsibility over the situation and suitable measures should be taken ahead of time.
“Bernama’s responsibility toward their workers does not merely go away by their claim that they are minority shareholders.
“Bernama should have seen a head of time that workers would be adversely affected and should have taken measures to resolve this,” it said.
MTUC also urged the Labour Ministry to step in to resolve the current situation faced by the staffs of Bernama TV.
“MTUC urges Labour Ministry to step in immediately and to take pro-active measure to resolve the issues. Meanwhile MTUC have contacted the worker and have offered our services,” he added.
A news portal reported that last week some 20 Bernama TV staff resorted to take emergency leave as they could not afford to take travel to work.
The staff received a partial back pay of RM500 on December 9, while the last salary payment was done on October.
Bernama TV Chief Executive Officer Ibrahim Yahaya told the news portal that the RM500 payment is part of the payment for the November 2014 salary.
“It could not paid in full on schedule due to financial problems faced by the company,” he said. – AstroAwani