‘Nute is mute’, TM staff seek PM’s help
A group of disgruntled Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) employees are asking Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to help resolve their retirement age dispute.
Some 20 of them, who held a protest outside the National Union of Telecommunications Employees (NUTE) office in Kuala Lumpur, accused the union of siding with the management.
The group held placards, two of which read: “Nute has done nothing for its members” and “Nute is mute”.
Effective July 1, private sector companies are required to fix the retirement age of their employees from 56 to 60 years, but TM employees who turned 56 prior to this date have been forced to retire.
The retirement age at 60 years, introduced under an amendment to the Minimum Retirement Age Act 2012 that was gazetted on Aug 16 last year, also stipulates that employers cannot force employees to retire before reaching 60 years old.
Spokesperson for the group P Pasupathy said: “We want the prime minister to step in and to help us. This is his policy, he should ensure it is implemented for everyone.
“We just want to work, our own union won’t help us so we have no choice but to appeal to Najib,” he added.
Pasupathy said other government-linked companies such as Tenaga Nasional Bhd, backdated the new rule to allow current workers to continue working until 60.
He said Nute told them there was nothing it could do.
Pasupathy revealed that Nute today was signing a new collective agreement with TM management, which did not address the issue.
“They have been taking union fees for years, some of us have been paying for 35, 40 years, and they are doing nothing for us. The union is talking like the management and is siding with them” he added.
‘Nute will be at MTUC protest’
According to Bernama, the collective agreement provides for salary adjustments for three years from 2013 at a rate of 4.4 percent for the first year, backdated from January.
It also fixes the new retirement age at 60, but nothing is stated whether this would be backdated to January this year.
Paspupathy ( right ) said TM was one of the first companies to be privatised in 1986 and at the time the employees were promised better conditions than that provided to the civil service.
This is the group’s second protest since its first, which was held on June 29.
Nute president Mohd Jaafar Abdul Hamid has denied inaction on the part of the union, saying that Nute was under the umbrella of the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC), which planned to demonstrate outside the Human Resources Ministry in Putrajaya on July 23.
The demonstration aims to protest against 258 employers who want to put off implementing the 60 years retirement age regulation.