A weeklong strike at a Taiwanese owned factory in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, producing for among others Nike and Adidas has come to an end after the government agreed to hold off suggested changes to the social insurance coverage.
90,000 workers went on strike after the Vietnamese government suggested changes to the social insurance coverage, starting next year. The changes would mean that workers would lose the possibility of a one-time immediate payment when leaving a job for whatever reason; instead they would be paid a monthly allowance at retirement age.
The retirement age in Vietnam is 55 for women and 60 for men.
Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is considering changing the permissible age for members to withdraw their savings from the current 55 years to 60 years, the societal age for retirement.
EPF CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan says the deliberation is based on the fact that, on average, people exhaust their retirement savings within 3-5 years after a full withdrawal from EPF.
"Roughly about 70% of people who withdraw their retirement savings in full, will essentially deplete the money within three to five years time.
"Malaysians now make the withdrawal first (at 55) before actually retiring (at 60), and we are looking at this issue for the right policy response," Shahril told a media briefing today in conjunction with the release of the pension fund's 2014 Annual Report.
The Sabah Forest Industry (SFI), owned and operated by Indian Ballarpur Industries Limited (BILT), part of the gigantic Avantha Group, has for almost two decades suppressed workers’ right to self-organisation by using legal and technical maneuverings. Two judicial reviews were used to quash the decision of the Malaysian Minister of Human Resource to recognize the union.
This anti-union attitude directly violates Malaysian Industrial Relation Act of 1967 that states: “No person shall interfere with, restrain or coerce a workman or an employer in the exercise of his rights to form and assist in the formation of and join a trade union and to participate in its lawful activities.(art.4.1 Rights of workmen and employers).
This right is fully guaranteed by ILO Convention 87 and is embedded as a mandatory requirement in Forest Certification Systems and the mandatory Labour Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation, which gives financial support to SFI.