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Utusan late in paying staff, union backs management
Published:  Aug 2, 2016 6:03 AM
Updated: 10:18 AM

Non-executive Utusan Melayu Group staff are still waiting for last month's wages, which was scheduled to be paid on July 30.

According to the Utusan Melayu chapter of the National Union of Journalists Malaysia (NUJ-Utusan), non-executive staff will receive their pay on Aug 5.

Executive level staff scheduled to receive their salaries by July 24 were paid on July 29, it said in a statement.

The union also pledges support for all efforts to save the company's operations, under the leadership of group managing director Noordin Abas and group editor Aziz Ishak.

A source, however, told Malaysiakini that the non-executive staff would receive payment tomorrow, and that they would take action if this did not happen.

The group, majority-owned by Umno, publishes the Bahasa Malaysia broadsheets Utusan Malaysia and Mingguan Malaysia, and tabloid Kosmo!.

“It's not easy to clean up the s**t left by the company’s previous top management. There is no need to elaborate about all the past weaknesses.

“All the current problems faced, let us deal with it in our way,” said the union.

These efforts were carried out in the backdrop of an economy that has seen many other companies suffering losses or ceasing operations, it said.

NUJ-Utusan said this included efforts to increase Utusan’s profit and revenue through looking at other income sources, apart from sales of newspapers, magazines and advertisements.

It also dismissed speculation that Utusan’s current financial situation was due to troubles faced by Umno.

The union also urged the Malay community to give its full support to what it said is the last remaining newspaper company that represents the Malay struggle.

“Who else will help (Utusan) if not the Malays? The reality is that the country’s newspaper industry has seen a decrease in sales of newspapers and advertisements, particularly for Malay papers.

“The union urges all Malays to revive the spirit of reading Utusan Malaysia, Mingguan Malaysia and Kosmo!,” it said, adding that the federal government and state governments should also play their role to support the paper that had fought for Malaysia’s Independence.

Veteran blogger and former Utusan editor-in-chief Zainuddin Maidin in a blog posting earlier today quoted Kelab Veteran Utusan Melayu (KVUM) as calling for swift action to save the "ailing" daily.

KVUM president Raja Ahmad Niza Raja Ismail, in a posting on the blog Buletin Syara Keramat, said KVUM has also sent a memorandum to Utusan with a proposal on how to reform the daily.

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