Published: Wednesday October 24, 2012 MYT 5:13:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday October 24, 2012 MYT 7:49:45 PM
Hauliers plan to ensure truck drivers earn minimum take-home pay of RM3,000
BY TEH ENG HOCK
KLANG: The Association of Malaysian Hauliers (AMH) is aiming for truck drivers to earn a take-home pay of at least RM3,000 without working unreasonably long hours.
AMH, whose members control 80% of the hauliage industry, wants to take the government's minimum wage policy of RM900 one step further by giving their employees a higher income, while providing them work-life balance as well.
AMH president Datuk Che Azizuddin Che Ismail said that to accomplish this, transportation companies needed to increase productivity and revenue by becoming more efficient.
"But we cannot do this on our own. Maybe we can improve by 40%, but the remaining 60% depends on the other stakeholders, such as the depot, shipping lines, port authority, customs and other players," he said.
He said everyone else must improve efficiency to cut down on time wastage.
"The drivers can be stuck at the depot for hours, which limits the number of trips they can make a day. And that means they earn less, because they get a commission per trip.
"A lot of time is wasted due to traffic congestion too. That is why the roads to Westport and Northport (in Port Klang), Pasir Gudang Port and Penang Port must be widened to a six-lane carriageway," he told reporters Wednesday after attending a briefing by the Human Resource Ministry on minimum wage.
The minimum wage policy of RM900 a month will come into effect on Jan 1 next year, and Che Azizuddin gave an assurance that AMH members would comply with the ruling.
Che Azizuddin said many truck drivers already enjoyed a take-home pay of at least RM3,000, but they had to work long hours to earn that amount.
"We fully support the government's initiative to enforce minimum wage. With their basic pay at RM900, plus other benefits, they can earn more than RM3,000 per month.
"But they have to work long hours. If waiting time is reduced, they can make three trips in eight hours instead of just two," he said.
He said time wasted affected the companies productivity and increases their cost, which would be either absorbed by the companies or passed down to consumers.
"The key is efficiency. If everyone plays their part, we can ensure that we have enough revenue, after factoring in operational costs and minimum wage, to let the drivers take home RM3,000 or more," he said.