PETALING JAYA: Private sector workers want the government to initiate a meeting between them and employers on the need to have a cost-of-living allowance (COLA) to cope with price hikes. Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) president Mohd Khalid Atan told theSun that the government should take the lead in the matter instead of asking them and the Malaysian Employers Federation to have direct discussions on the matter. During the Dewan Rakyat sitting on March 27, Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Ismail Abu Muttalib had called on MTUC and MEF to discuss the issue directly. He said the government was prepared to be the intermediary if they could not come to an agreement on the matter. "I am happy that the government is concerned for workers' welfare," he added. With the minimum wage for employees being RM900 for the private sector, MTUC had proposed a RM300 COLA, saying it would help ease the burden of rising day-to-day expenses. Mohd Khalid said it was difficult for workers to survive on just RM900. He suggested that employers find a win-win situation to pay employees COLA either in cash, housing or food allowance.