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Sacked staff want jobs back


SEEKING REDRESS: PKNS move in breach of contract, says MTUC

SHAH ALAM: THE 20 Selangor State Development Corporation employees, whose contracts were terminated with immediate effect on Tuesday, lodged a report yesterday with the State Industrial Relations Department. 

They are seeking to be reinstated to their posts and considering legal action against the corporation for their dismissal.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress deputy president Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid, who accompanied the group, said the PKNS move was in breach of the contract signed by the employees and there was no reasonable justification given for their dismissal.

"There must be proper procedures in place where retrenchment is concerned.

"They failed to give the employees advanced notice or proof that it was a cost-cutting exercise. PKNS makes millions of ringgit in profit every year, so money is not an issue.

"The action by PKNS was a direct breach of Sections 10 and 12 of the Employment Act."

Abdullah Sani said MTUC would do its best to get the employees reinstated while awaiting the decision to pursue legal recourse, which could take up to two months.

The group's spokesman, former PKNS Holdings Sdn Bhd (PHSB) marketing head, Dr Alif Aiman Abdullah, said the corporation was obligated to send them back to its subsidiary which had hired them.

"If PKNS does not need our services, it should have sent us back to PHSB, to serve out the remainder of our contracts. They told us it was part of a restructuring exercise.

"But there was no study conducted to suggest our roles were redundant. What is the justification of doing away with almost all of the PHSB staff?"

Abdullah Sani, who is also PKR member of parliament for Kuala Langat, demanded that Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim resign following yet another controversy in PKNS.

"Enough is enough. Khalid does not know what he is doing and has been ill-advised in managing PKNS. It is time for a change in leadership for the state."

PKNS said the termination of the 20 contract employees by the management was part of its human resource restructuring exercise.

It said this was done through the trimming of overlapping positions, and was in line with its principles of "value for money" and providing efficient service.

Its public relations manager, Ishak Hashim, said the former contract employees involved in the exercise had served the corporation since 2010 and were brought in to strengthen some departments in the corporation, including its departments of business development, strategy and media, marketing, investment as well as organisation and integrity management.

"After a thorough study on the employment of contract staff, we decided their services were no longer needed as we had an adequate pool of permanent staff with the skills and experience required for the advancement of our corporation.

"In light of the situation, PKNS' subsidiary company, PKNS Holdings, decided to end the services of the employees, in accordance to the terms and conditions of their service contract."

Despite rumours the termination of the employees was related to the reassignment of PKNS former general manager Datuk Othman Omar and executive secretary Norita Abdul Sidek to the state government's office, Khalid, on Tuesday, denied the allegations.

Khalid, who is also the chairman of PKNS, said the corporation was investigating Othman's and Norita's cases.

Last month, outgoing Othman was transferred to the state government's office after issuing a termination letter to Azmin Ali as a director of the PKNS board.

"We have not completed our investigations into the matter. Once done, we will present our findings to the board and the public."

It was widely believed Azmin's sacking was Khalid's doing, with Norita later releasing a statement saying the board had acted according to procedures in issuing the termination letter to Azmin.

The 20 PKNS employees, whose contracts were terminated on Tuesday, lodging a report with the State Industrial Relations Department in Shah Alam, Selangor, yesterday. Pic by Roslin Mat Tahir.

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