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Utusan staff to picket after salaries delayed again

August 12, 2019

* Bernama cash strapped: Staff in a quandary, ministry launches probe
* Media group demands action against Utusan for delayed salaries 

EMPLOYEES of former Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia Sdn Bhd are set to protest on August 19 after 800 of them did not get their salaries last month.

The company has often delayed salaries and this latest incident involves wages for the month of July.

A source told The Malaysian Insight that the affected staff are those who come under the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Salaries for the executive staff were delayed for two months. The source said they only received RM2,000 as part of their wages in June.

“We plan to have a picket on August 19 to protest the breach of the collective agreement and the late payment of wages.

“Those expected to picket are 250 staff under NUJ. This does not include executive staff who have also not been paid for two months,” the source told The Malaysian Insight.

He said the staff are not motivated to work due to the financial problems they are facing.

“Husbands and wives working in Utusan have to bring their children to the office because they cannot afford to their kids to a nursery or babysitter. Some staff have accumulated debts in the past two months,” he said.

This is their second attempt to picket after the management had talked them out of it last year.

The source said the staff will give the management time to provide a solution or they will go ahead with the protest.

“Last year we were planning to picket, but we called it off after the management met us and gave a solution.

“We are now giving them until August 19. We have already written to the management to inform them about our picket.

“During this period, the management will still have time to resolve the issues we were are facing.”

The Malaysian Insight had sighted several notices from Utusan on the late payment due to financial problems.

The staff now are facing the same scenario that occurred last year when Utusan did not pay their salaries as agreed.

As of December 2018, approximately 800 employees had accepted the voluntary separation scheme as the company embarked on a cost-cutting measure. However, their payments were also delayed.

The Utusan Group is currently on PN17 status on the Malaysian Stock Exchange after failing to pay the outstanding debt of nearly RM1.2 million to two banks.

The company publishes Utusan Malaysia as well as Kosmo.

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From → Malaysia Upclose

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