Saturday, February 16, 2013

Minimum wages comes with cuts – MTUC Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Employees face yet another dilemma at work – the implementation of the RM800 minimum wage comes with cuts in so many areas, including their monthly allowances.
“This is equally demoralising since allowances are created to encourage employees to work harder for that extra Ringgit.
“So when you cut such incentives, it would not only bring the staff’s morale down, but also discourage them from taking on that workload,” said Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) Sabah secretary Catherine Jikunan.
Receiving complaints from factory workers, clerks and those attached to courier service companies, she said it was affecting the employees morale, and most of them were beginning to think that there was no use putting in the extra effort as at the end of the day, they would still be getting their RM800.
“For instance, a courier service staff told us that in the past, they are paid an extra 20 sen per package sent, but beginning last month, the company had revised the allowance to five sen per package … this is a big amount and it would affect the employees in one way or another,” she said.
Urging employers to review their allowance scheme, she stressed that proper payment would encourage better performance among their employees.
On another development, Jikunan said there was no reason for eateries to increase the prices indiscriminately, and blamed the implementation of the minimum wage for it.
“Most coffee shops are family-oriented business, so they normally employ their own relatives, or for cheap labour, illegal immigrants … plus the cost of operating is not that expensive,” said Jikunan, when contacted by the Borneo Post, yesterday.
She stressed it was improper to raise the prices of food and beverages as it would only burden the consumers.
“There was one time when I went to a coffee shop in town, and I was shocked when they had increased the price for a cup of coffee. When I complained, the owner told me that it was because of the minimum wage issue.
“I told the owner that it was not right to raise the prices of food and beverages simply because the cost of operation is not that high, plus they do not have that many employees … they took note and the next time I went to the shop, the prices had gone down,” said Jikunan sharing her experience.
She added that in such cases, consumers have the right to take down the name of the shop and lodge complaints to the relevant authorities.