Come January 2009, and more factories workers and executives will be out of jobs. Expect also more phrases of "closure", "layoff", "winding down", "retrenching", "retrenchment", "downsizing", "shutdown", "tutup kilang", "kilang likup" to monopoly the newspaper frontpage in the coming weeks.
Employee layoffs have been long planned by major factories in Malaysia, probably as early as January 2008. Of course the Government as well as the factories owners vehemently denied those rumors, until now.
But make no mistake, all employees who worked at factories will be fearful of sudden termination and layoffs as early as January 2009. And what has our Government did to counter this critical issue?
The latest causalities are such as:
* Western Digital (KOMAG) factory in Kuching
Factories warn of layoffs
PUTRAJAYA: Several companies have indicated to the Government they will be retrenching workers in January and February.
Human Resources Ministry secretary-general Datuk Thomas George said all were in the manufacturing sector, which was extremely dependent on exports and overseas demand.
“Our labour officers have been told to focus their monitoring on areas in Penang, Selangor and Johor, where the manufacturing sector is the strongest.
“We have also been told to expect a significant increase in lay-offs in the six months ahead,” he told reporters at a briefing on Malaysia’s employment outlook on Wednesday.
However, Thomas stressed that the current situation was still healthy compared to 1998, at the height of the Asian financial crisis when there were 80,000 lay-offs.
“Normally it is around 30,000 or less. And we still have over 77,000 active vacancies registered with JobsMalaysia,” he said.
To an accusation by trade unions that reports of retrenchment and a possible slowdown had been exaggerated and exploited by unscrupulous employers, Thomas said: “This is real and we are not overdoing it. We are not shielded from it.”
He said the ministry would implement a “train and place” programme for those retrenched without compensation or benefits.
“While undergoing training, these workers will also be paid an allowance to help them tide over the crisis.”
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