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Nearly 100 picket at Utusan office over unpaid wages

Current and former Utusan Melayu employees protest outside the main office in Kuala Lumpur today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Nearly 100 current and former employees of Utusan Melayu Bhd demonstrated in front of the daily’s main office here today, claiming the company had failed to pay them their wages for one and a half months now.

National Union of Journalists (NUJ) president Taufik Razak, who was present at the gathering, said he had attended a meeting earlier with Utusan’s management and executive chairman.

He said he was informed that the company has no funds to pay either overdue or current wages, and claimed it could face closure within weeks.

“This is because they do not have any money and have failed to sell off their assets,” Taufik, who is also Utusan NUJ branch chairman, said.

NUJ claimed earlier this month that Utusan, which publishes Malay dailies Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo, owes salaries to 769 workers, with complaints of delays in payments and claims since January.

“Even Umno has not given any information on keeping Utusan alive because Umno also has no money,” Taufik said.

“So I’m pleading with Umno and Umno members to help us workers who have helped them in the past, and to look at our condition.”

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