KUALA LUMPUR: Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd, which owns Utusan Malaysia, has been ordered to pay backdated two months' bonus to its employees for 2009.
Industrial Court president Susila Sithamparam, in her award handed down on May 24, held that the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), which brought the case to the court, had proven that Utusan Melayu made a profit in 2009. She said Utusan Melayu had declared its group profit for 2009 at RM5.121mil in its Annual Report.
"The respondent (Utusan Melayu) cannot shy away from the fact that it is a holding company and has subsidiary companies.
"The court held that the word "keuntungan" or "profit" in Article 44 of the said collective agreement meant the profit which it made as a holding company in 2009.
"The union has proven that the respondent (Utusan Melayu) made a profit in 2009," she said.
Susila ordered Utusan Melayu to comply with Article 44 of the said collective agreement.
"Since the respondent has paid its employees an ex-gratia sum of one month's wages each for 2009, it may deduct the sum which had been paid from the bonus of two months' wages which is to be paid to its employees for 2009," she said.
The union brought the matter to the court on March 23, last year, after Utusan Melayu failed to pay the two months' wages for 2009, on the grounds that it had losses of RM26,169,490 as an individual company as at Dec 31, 2009.
However, the company had given its employees an ex-gratia payment of one month's wages each for 2009.
NUJ general secretary V. Anbalagan, in a statement, expressed hope that the Utusan Melayu management would carefully study the award and make all outstanding payments due to its employees in the spirit of industrial harmony. - Bernama