Thursday, January 10, 2019

Hyundai's Chennai plant workers protest over alleged delay in wage pay


A section of workers in Motor’s Chennai plant held a one-day token hunger strike on Wednesday, as the wage settlement talks with the management were inconclusive. 

The permanent workers, under the recognised union, had earlier decided to stay away from over time operations, and alleged the company was using the to substitute 

The United of Employees (UUHE), the which had entered into a wage settlement last time, has been in talks with the management for the settlement for the period 2018-2021. 

However, the talks remain inconclusive, with the negotiation on the percentage of salary hike yet to see success, said sources from the company on condition of anonymity.

spokesperson refuted the allegation, saying, “At the moment we are engaged in wage negotiations with the recognised  The talks are at an advanced stage, and are progressing smoothly. The employees, and have supported the meeting of production targets.”

“At Motor India,  our production lines are manned by our employees, but we also engage  These are on boarded after they have undergone an intensive one-year training at our plant, under senior supervisors. We do not employ unskilled workers on  the production lines,” said the company spokesperson.

Motor has over 2,200 permanent workers, around 3,500 and another 5,000 contract workers in the Sriperumbudur facility, they say.

Bukit Kukus - Worksite safety flaws


MTUC Penang Division, in reference to the Penang Chief Minister's statement  that the Bukit Kukus landslide was due to "worksite safety flaws" (FMT today) is of the view that it is nothing short of an admission that those hired to undertake the job had disregarded their duty of care in confirming with the threshold safety standards that they were beholden to observe.

The Chief Minister's views, on the issue, seems to be based on the findings of the probe conducted by the Penang Island City Council and that conducted by the Penang Deputy Chief 1. Inspite of such conclusion the Chief Minister says he will wait for the findings of the department of occupational safety and health (DOSH) before making a decision as to whether to retain the existing contractors or not. His position is like saying that I have my doubts with the findings of those I entrusted to investigate the matter!

MTUC Penang Division's stand is simply this- if the Penang Island City Council and the Deputy Chief Minister's finding on the issue at hand is that the contractors had compromised on the worksite safety standards there is no reason for the state to delay appropriate course of action against the current contractors who, obviously, have failed in their responsibilities. With or without a report from DOSH  the state must have the courage, and the conviction, to terminate the irresponsible contractors involved.

The Chief Minster has also expressed his hope that the project can continue. Our response to that is this - can the Chief Minister or the state government give an undertaking that there will be no more  "worksite safety flaws" if the work is allowed to continue?

On all account it is our view that it would be proper for the state government to act with utmost caution in the matter. Between development and loss of lives please choose the lesser evil.

MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520

Monday, December 31, 2018

MTUC Penang Division is shocked with the PPBM vice-president Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman's stand that elections must be won by "hook or crook"! And, by extention, doing it by rewarding PPBM divisional chiefs with government hand-outs, is even more digusting! To imply that, as a component party of the Pakatan Harapan government, it would be justified to do do is devoid of sense!

The victory of 14th general elections was as a result of the collective desire of the people to oppose the culture of patronage, amongst other issues, that was embedded during the Barisan National regime. We, the citizens of the country, elected for change minus croynism. It was our hope that this country would embark on a fresh path of transparency and accountability. It was our aspiration that the country would be in the hands of those who subscribe to the ideals of democratic rules and practices. The misplaced affirmation of leaders like Abdul Rashid is but a dis-service to the hopes of the people of this country.

If elections are to be won by "hook or crook" is it suggested that it ought to be achieved by, say, rigging elections with dubious electoral rolls? Or worst still by buying votes through enriching divisional chiefs? Isn't such a proposition going against the very grain of concerns raised by the people and the collective leadership of the Pakatan Harapan government? On all account it would be a disaster if the Pakatan Harapan leadership does not rebutt the position taken by Abdul Rashid.

Secretary MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520

Saturday, December 15, 2018



MTUC Penang Division is shocked at the Human Resources Minister's proposal to deduction/withhold 20% of migrant workers' wages. His justification that it will serve the objective of preventing migrant from fleeing from their employers is even more shocking!

The Minister, obviously, has taken a simplistic approach to the issue. What that really needs to be
asked is this:-

 Why are migrant workers absconding form their employers?

 Is it beacasue of low wages or is it because of unjust working conditions?

Or are there other legitimate reasons?

What the Minister ought to do is to investigate the underlying causes for migrant workers leaving their employers.Taking an easy way out can never be the answer. It would, thus, be appropriate for the Minister to take a holistic approach to the issues confronting migrant workers. A piece meal approach would never serve the higher objective to understanding the issues confronting migrant workers.

These fundamental issues aside the Minister ought to have taken advice if the said 20% deduction is permissible in law. To the best of our knowledge Section 24 of the Employment Act 1955 does not permit such a deduction. His suggestion, to park such deductions with SOCSO, raises the question of whether there exist such provision under the Social Security Act to do so?

The Minister, citing South Korea and Japan as a point of reference leads to another question i.e. whether the Honourable Minister is prepared to adopt the labour standards, including wages, that such countries have put in place for not only their wokers but also migrants?

As we have suggested we implore upon the Honourable Minister to approach the issue with consideration to the whole spectrum of issues involving not only migrant workers but Malaysians as well.

MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Forced overtime work in the case of Top Glove

MTUC Penang Division, having taken notice of the Ministry of Human Resoucers finding that there were no cases of forced overtime work in the case of Top Glove, views with utmost concern the very statement of the Minister of Human Resources that such excessive long hours of work was as a result of the request of migrant workers themselves.

The said situation raises a fundamental issue i.e. can an employer irregardless of the limitation in law of a maximum of 104  hours of overtime be absolved of their legal, if not moral obligation, to allow such a breach of the relevant provisions of the law even if such a violation was at the request of the workers themselves?

We do not subscribe to the notion that any violation of the law can be condoned let alone be justified on any account.

We, therefore, urge the Human Resources Ministry to institute action against, not only Top Glove, but all such erring employers. Unless and until the Ministry does so such disregard, to the respect of the law,  will rear its ugly head without fear of a lack of enforcement.

It is our earnest prayer that the Ministry acts with conscience on the matter least the newly minted government is lablled a lackey of the employers class!

MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520

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Saturday, December 8, 2018



The instances where workers, including migrant workers, working long hours is a reality that has prevailed in our country. The case, of the migrant workers of Top Glove toilling prolonged hours of work as reported by FMT, is but one such case. It is our view that it is just the tip of the iceberg.

The fact that workers in Malaysia work overtime and on their rest-day and even public holidays is a sad reflection of the economic pressure that they face as a result of the ever escalating cost of living that prevails in the country. Cases of workers doing more than one job is a openly known fact.

In the equation of wages in our country the migrant workers are entrapped in bondage as a result of the unjust charges that are imposed on them by uncaring recuirting agents or agencies in their country of origin. We, thus, call upon company's hiring migrant workers to ensure that it is
 done on a government to government basis so as to dispense with such recuirtment agents or agencies.

Working long hours, and by extension enhancing production,  results in a deterioration of workers physical and mental health.

If a worker works a 48 hours week he would have worked a total of 192 hours in a month. If he works the maximum permissible overtime of 104 hours per month he would have 296 hours per month - working out to total of 37 mandays a month! ( 296 ÷ 8 hours per day = 37 mandays worked over 30 days in a month).

It is our position that such an unjust situation must be eradicated! And we are of the conviction that it can only be done if wages are structured to confirm with a living wage standard.

Our nation ought to move away from the module of a minimum wage to that of a living wage i.e. a wage that would enable workers to meet their basic economic needs.

It is, therefore, MTUC Penang Division's demand that the National Minimum Wages Council be re-branded to that of a National Living Wage Council with the absolute jurisdiction to decide on a nation wide living wage. The powers, to decide on such living wage, vested with government, must be abolished as it makes no sense for the council's very establishment or existence!

016 4184520

Tuesday, November 6, 2018



MTUC Penang Division calls upon the police, and the Ministry Of Human Resources, to commence an immediate investigation in respect of the claim of bonded labour by a group of workers from Tamil Nadu, India.

The claim, by the workers concerned, would tantamount to modern day slavery which our country cannot condone as we  do not tolerate such uncivilsed and  immoral conduct by employers. The employers involved, if investigations establishes the fact of bonded labour, must be made to face the full force of the law.

The claim by the workers involved that they were intimidated with physical harm is criminal in nature and the authorities ought to establish if it was a fact and, if so, commence appropriate action thereof.

Workers, irregardless of whether they are citizens of the country or not,  must be accorded their rights to universally accepted labour standards. Any employer who behaves otherwise must be made accountable for their violiation of the law. They must pay for their crime!

MTUC Penang Division believes that the case in hand is only a dip in the ocean. We are also of the view that such cases occur because of weakness in the recuritment of migrant workers. On this score we welcome the Human Resources Minisrer's recent announcement of the termination of the middle man in employment of migrant workers. The said decision, we think, would eradicate the inhuman exploitation of migrant workers.

In conclusion we pray that the cause, of the Tamil Nadu bonded/slavery workers in Bentong Pahang, would not be sweept under the carpet by our police and the Ministry Of Human Resources.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress
Penang Division