Friday, February 8, 2013

MTUC concerned over EPF investment strategies

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) is believed to have raised its concerns over the investment strategies of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), including its decision to hold a significant stake in Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGVH) which went public in June 2012.

The concerns were raised in its annual meeting held at EPF’s headquarters early this week, according to a source.
When contacted by The Malaysian Reserve, MTUC president Mohd Khalid Atan confirmed that a meeting took place but declined to comment on what was discussed.
“It is very confidential. EPF will issue a statement on it soon,” he said.
The source said MTUC is worried over the lacklustre performance of FGVH shares since its listing on June 28, 2012. EPF holds a significant stake in the plantations giant, whose shares have been on a downward trend since July last year, after recording a high of RM5.55 a month after its listing.

EPF uneasy 'despite millionaires'

KUALA LUMPUR: THE number of millionaire account holders is on the rise but the Employees Provident Fund is far from impressed.

"EPF public relations general manager Nik Effendi Nik Jaafar says despite having more millionaires, 73 per cent of contributors had less than RM50,000 in their accounts."

In the third quarter of last year, the number of its millionaire account holders had increased to 15,783 from 11,174 previously, with total savings of more than RM1 million.
The figure of those reaching the mark was predicted to rise significantly this year, mainly because of higher salaries and awareness for better money management, said EPF public relations general manager Nik Effendi Nik Jaafar.

Chicago police union defends request for 12 percent raises over two years

City Hall has enough money to give Chicago police officers 12 percent raises over two years and still hire more cops to bolster the size of the force, the head of the city’s Fraternal Order of Police said Thursday in defending the union’s contract proposal.

Union president Michael Shields said it’s simply a matter of Mayor Rahm Emanuel making public safety a priority. In addition to 6 percent yearly raises, the union wants $3,000 yearly “cost of living in Chicago” stipends for police to help defray the expense of the requirement that they live within city limits.

EPF may declare higher dividend for 2012 soon

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians can expect another ang pow immediately after Chinese New Year when the Employees Provident Fund announces its dividend for 2012.

The fund's general manager for public relations Nik Affendi Jaafar said that the announcement was expected to be made on the third week of February.
He declined to speculate on the payout.
The fund's dividend for 2011 was 6% the highest in a decade.
Asset managers have speculated that this year might be a bumper year for EPF, buoyed by last year's strong equities performance and economic growth.

Dismissed Maruti Suzuki workers face state repression

Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) organized an all-India day of solidarity action on 5 February 2013 to condemn the state repression and demanding release of arrested workers and reinstatement of all dismissed workers of Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL).
After the 18 July 2012 violent incident, in which a manager at Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) was killed, workers are facing increased state repression. Currently 147 workers including all office bearers of Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) (Registration No. 1923) are in jail without bail for more than 6 months. In addition 66 more workers have been issued non-bailable arrest warrants.  In response to the 18 July incident, the MSIL management terminated 546 regular and nearly 2,300 contract workers.

Indonesian unions demonstrate their strength in unity

One day after a massive rally in Jakarta, the leaders of 11 Indonesian unions affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union met and decided to create the IndustriALL Indonesia Council.

Gathered on 7 February 2013, the leaders discussed common challenges, the IndustriALL Action Plan and took the decision to create the IndustriALL Indonesia Council as a platform for coordinating struggles and implementing the IndustriALL plan of activities.
The meeting was result of the leadership forum held in November 2012 ( ) where the affiliates agreed on the points of solidarity and united action, as follows:

60,000 workers march through Mexico City

The 31 January mass demonstration brought together working people and activists from many sectors including mining, energy, aviation, teaching, telephone and agriculture calling for a new economic and political direction for Mexico.

The 60,000-strong mobilization denounced the injustice handed down by the country’s Supreme Court on 30 January against Mexico’s oldest democratic union the Mexican Electrical Workers’ Union (SME). That decision overruled an appellate court ruling taken in line with national labour legislation that clearly passes employer responsibility to a company that takes over operations of another company, as occurred for SME members. There is no way to interpret this unjust Supreme Court ruling that runs contrary to Mexican law, other than as an effort by the ruling elite to crush the SME electrical workers’ union.