Saturday, June 22, 2019

MTUC PNG DIV. PRESS RELEASE ILO CONVENTION 87

Press Release - ILO Convention 87

MTUC Penang Division refers to the FMT report of 21.6.2019 wherein it had quoted the Human Resources Ministry as saying that the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) had, previously, rejected  the ratification of ILO Convention 87 by the government of Malaysia. The said Ministry's response is, apparently,  a rebuttal of the MTUC General Secretary Bro. J. Soloman's call, to the ILO,  to persuade the government of Malaysia to ratify Convention 87.

To the best of my knowledge MTUC has always pursued the goal of the ratification of ILO Convention 87 on the fundamental right to freedom of association and the right to organise. The MTUC's push, for the ratification of Convention 87,  has always been an utmost priority over the past decades. And, as I can re-collect, the MTUC has never compromised itself on the matter.

 MTUC Penang Division is, therefore,  baffelled at the statement of the Ministry Of Human Resources that MTUC had rejected ILO Convention 87 osentsibly on the grounds of multiplicity of unions at the workplace. We are also concerned with the Human Resources Ministry's statement that they abandoned amendments to the Trade Union Act 1959 and the Industrial Relations Act 1967 on account of MTUC's purported  position with regards to Convention 87.

Firstly, it would be impossible for the MTUC leadership to deviate from the collective decision of the organisation on the pursuit of the ratification of Convention 87. Secondly, the ratification of Convention 87, in all its form,  has no middle path - you either adpot it lock, stock and barrel or not! And that is a fact that the MTUC is fully aware off. Under such circumstances we are of the view that the MTUC leadership would not have stood in the path of the ratification of Convention 87 as it has been a priority  item on MTUC's policy agenda for a long, long time.

Having made our point in the matter we wish to turn to the Ministry's decision to abandon  crucial amendments to the Trade Union Act 1959 and the Industrial Relations Act 1967.

If the Pakatan Harapan government is truly committed to labour law reforms it must display that pledge by bringing about meaningful changes to the existing labour legislations. For the trade union movement to break out of the entrapment of uncaring and repulsive labour laws that curtails the  development of a vibrant labour movement it is vital that the Ministry Of Human Resources brings about the appropriate changes to the existing labour laws without any undue delay. Abandoning the urgently needed changes, to the prevailing restrictive provisions of the Trade Union Act 1959 and the Industrial Relations Act 1967, is not,  in our view, an option. We, therefore, would urge the Ministry Of Human Resources to review its position in the matter.

K.Veeriah
Secretary MTUC Penang Division
22.6.2019
016 4184520


Monday, June 3, 2019

Death of worker at Tunas Gemilang TKK Enterprise worksite.

PRESS RELEASE FROM MTUC PENANG DIVISION  - Death of worker at Tunas Gemilang TKK Enterprise worksite.

MTUC Penang Division refers to the FMT report of today wherein it was reported that Tunas Gemilang TKK Enterprise has pleaded guilty to negligence in the death of an employee working on its 35 storey apartment project in Manjung, Sitiawan, Perak.

MTUC Penang Division commends the Department Of Occupational Safety And Health (DOSH) in bringing charges against the said errant employer. We, however, are mindful of the fact that cases of deaths and serious injuries taking place in the construction sector, and by extentsion in other sectors as well, is alarming compared to the number of employers so charged in court. It is, therefore, our demand that DOSH makes no compromises in throwing the book at employers who abdicate their duty of care to a safe place.

In the case of the death of the Tunas Gemilang worker there is a more pressing issue that needs to be answered. The issue is not whether the pit was fenced or sealed but how, and why the worker fell from an elevated work station? What that needs to be investigated is whether the said worker was provided with safety harness while working at that height as so required. It is, therefore, our call that pertinent issue be investigated and the appropriate cause of action be instituted if necessary.

K.Veeriah
Secretary MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520
3.6.2019

Friday, May 17, 2019

Press Release On Tuan SM Mohamad Idris Demise

MTUC Penang Division extends it's deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of Sdr. SM Mohamaf Idris on his return to the arms of god almighty. He was a gaint in the quest for consumerism and the protection of the enviornment. His unwavering commitment, for the dual cause of consumer rights and the preservation of mother nature's gift to mankind, was lengendary.

We in MTUC Penang had the good fortune to have worked with Sahabat Alam Malaysia, an organisation he founded, on the Save Penang Hill campaign in the 1980s. And it is a testimony to his compassion, to safe-guard the fragile eco system of the hills of Penang, when he took a reasoned stand against the three island reclaimation and the Pan Island Transport projects that has been conceived by the government of Penang.

It is a tragedy that civil soceity has lost a devoted advocate for consumer and enviornment protection. We pray that his soul be blessed by the maker. Good bye to a true friend of the consumers and the hills of Penang!

K.Veeriah
Secretary
MTUC Penang Division
17.5.2019
016 4184520


Thursday, May 2, 2019

MTUC PENANG DIVISION - PM's view on low wages


PRESS RELEASE

MTUC PENANG DIVISION - PM's view on low wages

The Honourable Prime Minister's view that low wages are better than none, sadly, is a representation of the mind set of the ultra capitalist class! What is shocking is the fact that it was parrotted by the Prime Minister of the "Malaysia Baru" government. Coming on the day that celebrated the sacrifices and contributions of the working people of the world it is, in our opinion, disgusting!

Let us remind the Prime Minister and, by extension, the Pakatan Harapan government, that this nation of ours was build on the blood, sweat and lives lost of the working class. From the early rubber plantation workers, the tin ore mine labourers, to those who build the railways, the harbours and everthing and anything that now stands to glorify this nation it was the product of labour's sacrificies. But the sad fact remains that the workers of the nation are the most marginalised segment of the country.

The plantation workers, the fishermen, the framers, those toilling in the manufacturing sectors etc are all entrapped in the vicious low income equation of the nation no thanks to the low wage policy of the regime that governed our country from independence to May 2018. And least it slips our memory a good 22 years of that was under the leadership of Tun Mahatir who I will refer to Mahatir 1.0!

It is obvious that he has not shed his pro capital inclination. Please permit me to label him "Mahatir 2.0". You do not need to be a rocket scientist to deciphere the fact that his call, of "low wage better than none" as a manifestation of the Pakatan Harapan's government's policy towards the workers of the nation. If that was not the case then where are the voices of the other equal partners of the Pakatan Harapan coaliation?

A promise to implement a minimum wage of RM1500.00 was set aside. The promise that the abolishment of the GST would bring down the cost of living has not materialised. The escalating cost of essential goods and services is a reality that only fools will dare to deny. These realities have been supported by findings from non other than Bank Negara in that the current minimun wage is not appropriate. In fact Bank Negara is of the view that the country ought to inmplement a "living wage"- a wage that would be adequate to meet the workers basic needs with a a bit more to spare.

Having regards to the Bank Negara's finding MTUC Penang Division demands that the existing Minimum Wage Act be replaced with a Living Wage Act  having the jurisdiction to enact a national living wage without the government's interference in the matter.  MTUC Penang Division also is in complete agreement with the response of Bro. J.Soloman the Secretary General of MTUC on the matter - FMT today.

K.VEERIAH
Secretary MTUC Penang Division
2.5.2019
016 4184520