PKR vice-president Tian Chua has asked consumers not to get angry with the service charge and to be fair to these employees who are generally paid very low. — TRP file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, April 15, 2015:
PKR vice-president Tian Chua has asked consumers not to get angry with the service charge as it was additional income for already “low-income” earners.
“We need to be fair to these employees who are generally paid very low.
“Tipping also does not solve the problem because with the service charge, it manages to cover the welfare of all employees in that particular service industry, rather than tipping that only rewards the front line employee.
“For instance it would not be fair if the tips only went to the waiter and not the cook, but with service charge it goes to all,” he said in a press conference in PKR headquarters here today.
He said the misunderstanding among consumers was that the service charge should be abolished following the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
“The government said GST was the way to reduce costs and so this caused confusion that the service charge was going to be stopped and when it didn’t the people felt that the government had cheated them.”
He said PKR was defending the service charge as it is a justified “top-up” to their low salaries.
“This service charge belongs to the employees and we urge consumers not to misunderstand and object to it. Without it, these workers would be at a disadvantage as it become part of their wages all this while.
“We hope consumers respect this and don’t shift the blame on the workers just because of the implementation of GST.”
Tian Chua said the government should come up with a better system to protect the consumers and reduce the burden of GST.
“This is the view of not only the party but also workers’ unions.”
He said although PKR urged people to not object to paying the service charge, they did not make a stand on what restaurants or other service providers should do.
“Service charge is part of the agreement between the employer and the union, if the union prefers the negotiate for a service charge and that is between them, which we won’t interfere with.
“Whatever had been negotiated between the two parties should stay, it doesn’t matter if even the minimum wage was increased.”