PETALING JAYA: MTUC has not received any reports of lay-offs this year but MTUC secretary general J. Solomon said some employers may take advantage of the current economic situation to lay-off workers. He said there are also some employers who are closing down their factories by claiming that they are facing difficulties in getting foreign workers. The MTUC secretary general said some employers are also taking the "mischief" approach of laying off workers by claiming they facing problems, which can be covered by the huge profits they made during the boom years. Solomon said they (employers) should stop creating this this supposed economic problems because their actions are jeopardising the country's economy. He pointed out that there are local workers who are willing to work but they must be made a living wage. He said also to ensure that workers are fully employed, employers should at the time being avoid automation until the economy picks up. "The time has come for employers to stop relying on wage foreign labour but instead pay a proper wage to local workers," he told The Sun. Solomon said many employers had made huge profits during the good times and its now time that they start repaying their workers to help them survive this economic hardship. He added that one of the way this can be done by paying workers Cost of Living Allowance (Cola) to help deal with the rising cost of living. He urged the government to bring all stakeholders, employers, employees and investors, to discuss ways and means to deal with the current problems. "The government can help the workers by giving them low interest rates of one to two percent for houses between RM300,000 to RM500,000 and however those who can afford houses above RM500,000 should be asked to higher interest to offset the low interest paid by the others," Solomon said.