KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) threatened to hold strikes or picketing nationwide if the government abolishes the 10% service charge imposed on consumers by food and beverage industry and hotels.
MTUC secretary-general Gopal Kishnam said Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Datuk Seri Hasan Malek should not abolish the 10% service charge without understanding the industry.
“His comment was uncalled for and we will not hesitate to picket outside the ministry if it is abolished,” said Kishnam.
He said MTUC had spoken to hotel associations and they expressed concern over the ministry’s intention to abolish the service charge as it would seriously affect their staff.
“The 10% service charge goes to workers. I don’t know if the minister is aware of that or not. If they abolish the service charge, it will cut workers’ wages by at least 50%,” he added.
He said MTUC’s stand is to retain the 10% service charge and appeals for the current minimum wage of RM900 be increased.
According to the National Minimum Wage Act, Gopal said the government was supposed to review the minimum wage every two years and the last it was done was in 2013.
“Its suppose to be revised this year, but it has not been done,” he said, adding that MTUC wants the minimum wage to be increased to at least RM1,200.
Gopal also said they are not in favour of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) retirement withdrawal being changed from 55 to 60 years of age.
“MTUC’s official stand is to maintain the withdrawal at 55,” he added.
Gopal said the contributors should be given the option of whether they want to withdraw their EPF saving at 55 or 60 years.
As to Labour Day celebrations, Gopal said, it will be held on May 1 from 7am to 12pm at Dataran Shah Alam, adding that it is open to public as MTUC has lined-up various family-oriented activities including a lucky draw to mark the occasion.