KUALA LUMPUR: National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Utusan Melayu Branch chairman Mohd Taufek Razak has expressed hope that all the 862 workers of Utusan would get to keep their jobs under the new management of Aurora Mulia Sdn Bhd.
He said the company’s decision to cease operations effective today had left the workers confused as they had received only an internal circular on the matter and not termination letters.
“There is talk that the management will implement a process to lay off workers but we hope that under the new management they can continue to publish Utusan and retain all workers,” he told a press conference, here today.
Taufek said the Utusan headquarters building in Chan Sow Lin has been sealed and ceased operations while the liquidator has given workers until tomorrow to clear their belongings, adding that they will be on leave until Oct 31.
He said the management had agreed to pay salary arrears for September and October after having last paid the arrears for the months of July and August on Oct 4.
The issue of compensation for workers would be explained by the liquidator on Oct 30, he added.
Utusan executive chairman Datuk Abd Aziz Sheikh Fadzir today issued a memorandum saying the company would cease operations on Oct 9 while the last day of service for workers is Oct 31.
He said the Utusan board of directors had approved the appointment of UHY Advisory (KL) Sdn Bhd as interim liquidator on Oct 7 because the company was no longer solvent to carry on its business.
Utusan workers were generally disappointed with the announcement and turned up at the office just to collect their belongings and say goodbye to their colleagues.
Utusan journalist Ahmad Afiq Syahmi Mohd Shah said he found it hard to accept the announcement.
“I just received two months’ salary arrears last week but today the company is suddenly ceasing operations. Shocking,” he said.
Another journalist, Ku Muhamad Syafiq Ku Mohd Fozi, could only hope that he would be given a chance to serve under the new management. — Bernama