Perodua employees’ union objects to takeover bid

It claims UMW’s proposed corporate exercise would harm the livelihood of association’s members

By NG MIN SHEN / Pic By TMR File

A WORKER S’ union at Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) has objected to UMW Holdings Bhd’s proposed bid to increase its stake in the country’s No 1 carmaker, claiming the corporate exercise would harm their livelihood.

Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja Perodua Engine Manufacturing Sdn Bhd (KPPEM) is against UMW’s proposed acquisition, adding that Perodua’s management for the last 25 years has fulfilled and protected the rights and interests of the association’s members.

“On behalf of all the employees of Perodua, we have received the full mandate from members of the association to voice our objection against UMW’s proposed acquisition,” KPPEM said in a statement yesterday.

KPPEM said it is concerned the proposed acquisition will affect and deny Perodua workers of the rights and interests that members of the association have held until now.

Pointing to Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd, which has been contributing its technological and technical expertise to Perodua as its technology partner, KPPEM said it “worries that if the acquisition were to take place, Daihatsu may reconsider its involvement as Perodua’s technology partner and end its working relationship with Perodua”.

Should this happen, it would be a huge loss for Perodua, considering the valuable support and contribution from Daihatsu to the homegrown carmaker.

“This matter would create a troubled working environment and raise concerns regarding members’ source of income.

“Any changes in the management structure of Perodua would cause unease and also demotivate employees to continue contributing to Perodua.

“We really hope that what has happened to other car manufacturers before does not happen to us,” KPPEM said, likely in reference to layoffs undertaken by other car companies in the past.

Perodua has been the No 1 carmaker in the country for many years, selling almost 205,000 vehicles last year.

UMW recently offered to buy MBM Resources Bhd for RM1 billion, as well as PNB Equity Resource Corp Sdn Bhd’s 10% stake in Perodua for RM417.5 million — thus raising its interest in Perodua to 70.58% from the 38% direct interest it currently holds.

However, Med-Bumikar Mara Sdn Bhd — the majority shareholder of MBM Resources — and its wholly owned subsidiary Central Shore Sdn Bhd have rejected UMW’s offer to acquire their collective 50.07% stake for RM501 million.

KPPEM also said it was “surprised by Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) that willingly agreed to sell its stake in MBM Resources to UMW, which will result in Mara losing its opportunity to help the Bumiputeras”.

“This move clearly goes against Mara’s aspirations,” it added.

Mara is the single largest shareholder in Med-Bumikar, with a 29% stake.

The employees’ union urged other government agencies to step forward in support of maintaining Perodua’s existing management structure, which it said has benefitted and improved Perodua employees’ lives for the past 25 years.