Thursday, September 18, 2014

MALAYSIA:::MTUC against 24/7 work hours

Pekerja-300x202KUCHING: The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak  is wondering whether Sarawak will soon witness the emergence of 24-hour massage parlours, pubs, and “perhaps tuition centres to spot UPSR questions”.
Its concern comes in the wake of reports that a new supermarket mall, within the jurisdiction of the Padawan Municipal Council, will operate around the clock.
“Please don’t use development as an excuse,” said MTUC Secretary Andrew Lo in a statement expressing the union’s objections. “This will lead to an adverse quality of life.”

“In fact, 24 hours means that productivity suffers as output per hour drops.”
Lo also thought it ironic that Padawan in rural Kuching is thinking of encouraging the “shop till you drop” syndrome.
Even Kuala Lumpur, so much larger than Kuching, has rejected such shopping concepts, he added. “KL rejected an application by a global chain for 24-hour operations and cited the adverse implications in security, workplace safety, impact on family, work/shopping balance.”
The union is likewise taking the view that the working hours will be disruptive especially given the dubious track record of employers in Sarawak and that workers will not be compensated for working odd and inconvenient hours.
He conceded that while some consumers were compulsive shoppers, he was unsure if they would be happy to shop non-stop. He also warned against the incidence of increased spending due to impulsive shopping if 24-hour operations were allowed.
“We must really take stock as a society and not be blinded by development, profits, convenience and sacrifice our soul,” said Lo.
Sarawak, he urged, must look forward and emulate developed countries like Australia where shopping hours were only until 5pm except for two nights a week where shops remained open until 8pm.
They cope just fine, pointed out Lo, saying “all it takes is a little planning”.
Convenience stores which cater for emergencies may be an exception, he stressed.
Speaking up for local and small sundry shops, Lo warned that they would suffer unless they too followed suit should the new supermarket mall be allowed to go ahead with 24-hour operations.

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