In an unprecedented move, Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd (SDP) has increased the salaries of 37,000 of its estate and
mill workers throughout the country, with each of them expected to earn an extra RM200 in basic salary effective July 1st.
However, this is subject to the company’s internal guidelines. SDP has allocated between RM120 million and RM130 million per annum for this purpose including the increase in EPF and SOCSO contribution, said Sime Darby’s President and Group Chief Executive, Mohd Bakke Salleh at a press conference today to announce the initiative.
With the new salary scheme in place, a rubber tapper to a clerk, including auxiliary police personnel, employed in the estates and mills will enjoy a basic salary of between RM1,050 and RM1,100 per month.
He said Sime Darby decided to improve the quality of life of plantationworkers to recognise their contributions, especially in the environment of highcrude palm oil prices.
“If you look at the CPO prices trend over the years, we have been very lucky to ride on the increase in the average price. If you go back to 2001, the average CPO price was just RM890 per tonne and this year, we expect the average
CPO price for us to be in the region of RM2,800 per tonne.
“We feel the additional earnings will also enhance the productivity of our employees and we are very confident it will translate into that. The benefits coming out of this exercise will far outweigh the cost,” he said.
Meanwhile, SDP will also be upgrading housing and other amenities, called the Central Housing Complex, for its plantation workers’ gradually with each estate allocated between RM30 million and RM35 million.
Mohd Bakke said the new wage structure would have an impact on the group’sproduction cost per tonne of CPO.
Human Resource Minister Dr S.Subramaniam who was present at the announcement said the significant increase in earnings for plantation workers’ would enable them to have savings, provide better education for their children
as well as increase their purchasing power.
The government hopes other government-linked companies and organisations will follow suit, he said.