“My salary of RM1,800 is cut by 50 per cent, then what will my wife and children eat?”

This is what Mohd Amir Rapini, one of the 489 staff who was temporarily laid off from Megasteel Sdn Bhd said at a picket in front of the factory today.

About 60 people who had gathered there to picket, echoed Mohd Amir’s sentiment. They are all there to protest the 50 per cent pay cut.

“They are cruel. I have been here for years. I have three children and they are all still schooling,” Mohd Amir said when met today.

Megasteel Sdn Bhd is one casualty of the Ringgit fall and excessive steel imports from China.

megasteel staff protesting at Banting

The steel maker is also facing tough competition from China which is selling steel at a low dumping prices. It is also facing high cost of operation to stay in business.

Megasteel in a statement said its output capacity now is only 20 to 30 per cent.

It also faced RM2 billion loss in 2014.

“We are sad because we are forced to carry out temporary lay-offs. If we can avoid it, we would have done so,” Vasu Palanisamy, Senior Manager-Group Human Resource at Lion Group said.

Megasteel is a member of the Lion Group.

“We are hoping for a miracle so that the local steel industry will get better and we all can go back to work as usual,” he added.