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Railway union: 4,000 may lose jobs in KTMB

 | December 21, 2016

It says the government should provide more locomotives and freight trains to run services efficiently and cut losses.

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PETALING JAYA: The Railwaymen Union of Malaysia (RUM) today expressed worry regarding an agreement between Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) and the Railway Assets Corporation, saying this could result in 4,000 of its workers losing their jobs.

“The existence of the Railway Network Access Agreement (RNAA) could result in downsizing or layoffs.

“It’s expected that KTMB will be left with only about 1,500 workers compared with the 5,500 it has now,” said the union’s president, Abdul Razak Md Hassan.

Razak said the transport ministry should generate more profits for KTMB by supplying it with more locomotives and freight trains.

“Based on records, KTMB’s cargo losses was at RM37.41 million in 2015.

“So far this year, losses were at RM4.95 million. This means savings of RM32.46 million,” he said, adding that an increase in carriages meant saving on trips.

“The ministry needs to look at it as proof that KTMB can provide returns and even profits if it is supplied with enough locomotives and wagons, and if maintenance efforts to restore locomotives are carried out systematically.”

RNAA will give the government the right to intervene in KTMB’s operations, which includes using services outside the department and creating multiple operators or using the same tracks by handing licences or rights to private companies to run the cargo.

Razak said the proposal was irrational because it would result in KTMB’s earnings being cut.

“Help KTMB in terms of providing locomotives and wagons as this can help increase revenue to accommodate the cost of the inter-city services which are being subsidised to consumers,” he said.

He said the KTM Intercity service had suffered a loss of RM119.26 million, but managed to maintain an earning of RM80 million this year — only RM2 million less than in 2015.

For the KTM Commuter service, the company is incurring high operating costs due to subsidising fares for customers, with a loss of RM94.29 million this year compared with RM115.63 million in 2015.

The decrease in losses was due to the increase in fares in Lembah Klang, he said.

“An increase of 10 ETS sets also saw a profit of RM16.7 million in 2016 compared with RM500,000 last year.”


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