28 June 2009

Cuepacs: Give third option for workers affected by privatisation

The Star

IPOH: Cuepacs wants workers affected by the privatisation of solid waste management to be allowed to join the national solid waste management department.

Its deputy president (I) Azih Muda said Cuepacs wanted a third option to be offered to its members, which was to be able to serve in the department.

“Right now, they only have the option to retire or join the private companies taking over the solid waste management.

“If they do join the concessionaires, they are to choose whether to take up the companies’ benefits scheme or those being offered by the Government,” Azih told reporters after the congress’ annual meeting yesterday.

Noting that there had been no details of what benefits were being offered, he said the congress was concerned about the welfare of the workers with the privatisation exercise.

“In light of the present economic situation, there are no guarantees as to how long these companies will last.

“We do not want to see the time when the salaries of the workers are frozen or worse still, they are laid off,” he said.

Revealing that affected workers in the northern states had been issued with forms requiring them to indicate their choices, Azih said Cuepacs was very disappointed with the Local Government and Housing Ministry on how it had been pressuring workers on the matter.

The congress, he said, had met the Prime Minister to discuss the matter last week.

According to Azih, about 25,000 unionised garbage collection workers nationwide would be affected by the move, beginning Aug 1 in Kedah, Penang and Perak.

”Cuepacs wants the Government to defer its plans to implement the privatisation exercise until further study is carried out on the option suggested by us,” he said.

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