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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Get out! RUM tells KTMB boss

Union threatens disruption of train services for Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations if Aminuddin Adnan does not resign immediately.

KUALA LUMPUR: Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) employees want their president, Aminuddin Adnan, to step down immediately or face a drastic backlash.

“Malaysia’s trains may come to a screeching halt during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations if does not quit,” said Abdul Razak Md Hassan, chief of the Railwaymen’s Union of Malaya (RUM).

“We want the government to end the president of KTMB’s contract or we will take drastic action!” he told hundreds of KTMB employees in front of the company’s KL headquarters.

“First of all, work to rule, be careful with Hari Raya!” warned Razak. “There’s real possibility that KTMB workers would go on strike.”

More than 300 disgruntled KTMB employees took part in a picket along Jalan Sultan Hishammuddin at around 6pm yesterday evening.

Armed with air horns, the crowd, some hailing from as far away as Alor Star, Kedah, were boisterous as they announced their arrival in front of the KTMB office.

They also carried protest banners, all of them against Aminuddin’s position as KTMB president.

“It’s too late to negotiate, KTMB president. Banggang (stupid),” and “The KTMB president should learn how to be a leader,” read some of them.

Unfurling banners and handing out RUM badges, the protest also took on a carnival-like atmosphere, with the crowd belting out the union’s anthem and the patriotic “Inilah Barisan Kita”.

‘Culture of fear’

The picket was the second of its kind in the last two years. In July last year, 200 RUM members picketed outside the KTMB headquarters in Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin.

They demanded that the Electric Train Service (ETS) remain within KTMB’s purview, instead of becoming a separate private subsidiary. They too, called for Aminuddin’s resignation.

Later on, the union met with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and presented their views. Najib is in charge of the Finance Ministry, which oversees KTMB.

Although the government acceded to their demands over the ETS, Najib asked RUM to be patient with Aminuddin, who only became KTMB president in August 2009.

Aminuddin was previously the president of the Express Rail Link, a YTL subsidiary.

But RUM appears to have had enough of the KTMB president. Aminuddin, they said, was to blame not only for the company’s poor performance, but also the alleged RM300m loss of KTMB’s cash reserves and overdrafts.

FMT previously reported the union accusing him of creating a “culture of fear” within the company, with KTMB senior officials allegedly being punished for being union-friendly.

Members from other unions also supported this evening’s picket. Khalid Atan, Malayan Trades Union Congress (MTUC) president slammed KTMB’s top management for ignoring its workers.

“We want (KTMB’s) leaders to see this. We don’t want RUM to be sidestepped,” he said.

Representatives from the International Transport Federation, National Union of Bank Employees and even the Malaysian Airlines union (MASEU) were also at the protest.

The picket ended at around 6.35pm, with the crowd dispersing peacefully.

Tags: KTMB, RUM, Railwaymen’s Union of Malaya, Aminuddin Adnan, Najib Tun Razak

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