18th June, 2012
ALOR SETAR: Two hundred-ninety former Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas) workers who had accepted Bernas’ Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) in 2000 are appealing for government intervention to solve the unsettled issue of compensation and retirement benefits.
The workers, who felt cheated, had set up VSS 2000 Padi and Rice Board Retired Civil Servants Action Committee to take action because the case had dragged on since 2004.
Its chairman, Ismail Hamzah said the committee was hoping for the intervention of the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar.
“We believe he is a responsible minister who is concerned with the problems of the people,” he told a press conference here, yesterday.
Ismail said Bernas offer a VSS to the affected employees in the year 2000 on the basis that the company was suffering losses and had excess manpower.
Ismail said they accepted the offer and were paid a compensation of 17 months’ salary but did not benefit from the Retirement Benefit Fund which was stipulated in the terms of employment.
He said the High Court suggested the case be settled through mediation on July 6, 2011 and as a result Bernas submitted an estimate based on the VSS 2003 formula involving the consideration of payment amounting to RM8,340,717.
“We agreed to the suggestion but requested an increase in interest of eight per cent a year starting from the time the case was filed in court on May 2006 but until today the case is still pending,” he said.