Govt warned of more workers protests ahead

(Harakah Daily) — Nov 4: Malaysian Trades Union Congress has told the government to brace for more protests if it ignored opposition to the amendment on Contractor of Labour to Employment Act 1955, passed by parliament on October 6.
The amendment, which allows investors to hire Malaysians as contract workers instead of permanent staff, has drawn wide criticism from MTUC, who described it as a form of slavery practised during British rule.

The union also said the amendment would not benefit workers, instead, Malaysian workers would be exploited.

Human Resources minister S Subramaniam however defended the amendment, claiming it would enable a more systematic monitoring of labour outsourcing agencies, especially in isolated locations.

PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu, who earlier joined some 250 workers in Shah Alam yesterday (pic), said the amendment was illegal as it did not take into account the rights of employees in the country.

“With the amendment, every employer will prefer hiring only contract workers to avoid higher costs.

“We know that contract workers will not have Employees Provident Fund and SOCSO deductions, so they do not have to bear these costs,” said Mat Sabu, who also warned that employees would be deprived of safety assurances at workplace.

“And this would greatly affect the affected employees and their family if anything were to happen.”

The nationwide protests led by MUTC kicked off 5pm nationwide yesterday at 20 spots.

MUTC president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamad who attended the Shah Alam gathering said the huge turnout was a signal to the government to take the matter seriously.

“We will continue to hold protests for as long as the government remains silent,” he said.