Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) referring to a media report quoted by the Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan recommended that the government encourages those in the low-income group to work two jobs, as it is one way to cope with the rising cost of living. Datuk Ahmad Maslan also said that holding down two jobs was not uncommon as it was done by many around the world.
Monday, December 28, 2015
Friday, December 18, 2015
The World Bank has projected that Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) will ease to 4.5 per cent in 2016, from 4.7 per cent this year, due to a slowdown in domestic demand.
The World Bank projected Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) would ease to 4.5 per cent in 2016, from 4.7 per cent this year, reflecting "some slowdown in domestic demand in the course of 2015 from tighter fiscal conditions".
Oft-maligned, untrained foreign workers help create demand for skilled Malaysian employees and contribute to the country’s economic growth, according to a World Bank report.
In its annual report titled “Malaysia Economic Monitor: Immigrant Labour”, the global fund projected that an influx of 10 migrant workers into a state’s sector results in 5.2 jobs for Malaysians and a 1.1 per cent net increase to the gross domestic product (GDP).
“Low skilled immigrant fill workforce gaps, reduce production costs and expand output and exports.
“As a result, unskilled employment increases and profits rise which increases investment and the demand for higher skilled Malaysians,” according to the report.
The government is considering deducting wages from foreign workers to create a savings fund for them, minister Datuk Paul Low said today.
“It’s very tough to go back without any money. Of course in some cases, they send all the money back, in some cases they lost the money locally through leakages,” Low, who is minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said at the launch of the World Bank’s 13th Malaysia Economic Monitor report.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Monday, December 14, 2015
he Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has rejected a proposal by an Umno delegate at the party’s ongoing assembly for the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to waive workers’ contributions to cope with the rising cost of living. MTUC secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam said EPF was a retirement fund and even after saving for 30 years, many employees did not have sufficient funds to support their old age. “EPF is a retirement fund and based on its own findings, the returns employees get after contributing for more than 25 or 30 years are insufficient. Therefore, we are strongly opposed to this,”
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Friday, December 11, 2015
MALAYSIA:::Entrepreneurial options for youth unemployment: Turning the informal sector into an idea economy
Unemployment, particularly among graduates is rapidly increasing in Malaysia. According to a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Abdul Wahid Omar, graduates aged between 20-24 number around 161,000 out of the 400,000 unemployed within the country.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has expressed outrage and demanded that the Institute for Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) retract its stand in a report that increased labour rights under the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement was a “Public Order and Stability” issue. ISIS in its National Interest analysis released last week added that, “the potentially disruptive threats posed by labour actions will have a negative impact on national interest”.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Employers will have to follow stricter procedures for payment of salaries to foreign workers starting January 2016, Paul Low said today.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the practice will see “middlemen” abolished, and employers will have to be more responsible when it came to their employees.
“The move involving 14 government agencies was made to resolve the problem of foreign workers in the country.
Monday, December 7, 2015
The idea of a mediation service for foreign domestic workers (FDWs) and their employers first came to Mr William Chew’s mind when employment agencies suggested that his organisation could take on the role of a neutral third party in such disputes.
Sunday, December 6, 2015
The narrow alleys that snake through the oldest streets of Kuala Lumpur were once the hub of business and trading activities of the city's first migrant communities. Areas such as Leboh Pasar, Medan Pasar, Jalan Yap Ah Loy, Jalan Petaling, Jalan Cheng Lock and Jalan Pudu were widely known as areas where Chinese and Indian businessmen first established themselves in the post-Malaya independence years. With their neo-classical designs, the old shophouses along Lebuh Ampang, Jalan Hang Kasturi and Jalan Tun H.S. Lee were dotted with businesses ranging from South Indian money lenders, to Chinese and Indian textile shops and restaurants serving familiar flavours of home for the early settlers
Saturday, December 5, 2015
Two of IndustriALL’s twelve affiliates in Malaysia, the Electrical Industry Workers’ Union (EIWU) and the Electronics Industry Employees’ Union Coalition (EIEU Coalition) have taken on the challenging task of organizing electronics workers in the country.
For the last 50 years, gross domestic product (GDP) in Malaysia has increased by an average of 6.5 per cent per year, setting an economic record among Asian countries. A booming electronics industry is one of the major contributors to this growth.
The industry started in 1972 at the first Malaysian free trade zone of Bayan Lepas, now known as the ‘Silicon Island of the East’, and later expanded to other states in the country.
By 2013, an estimated 350,000 people worked in the electronics industry. Up to 60 per cent of them are migrant workers primarily from Indonesia, but also from Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and India.
Mainly unorganized, they face numerous troubles at work including high recruitment fees, low, late or non-payment of wages, lack of benefits, unsafe working conditions, inadequate accommodation, and have insufficient legal protection making them easy victims for abuse by their employers. Some 70 to 80 per cent of the workers are women.
Law on union recognition
Wanting to change the situation, IndustriALL affiliates, EIWU and EIEU Coalition, decided to organize more electronics workers. However, the unions have been hindered by two serious problems: oppressive trade union and labour laws in Malaysia, and language difficulties when communicating with migrant workers. Added to that is a lack of full time organizers and lawyers.
Maniyam Poovan, general secretary of EIWU, says the Industrial Relations Act is a major obstacle for Malaysian trade unions:
“According to this act, trade unions must apply for recognition from the employer, who then decides whether or not to recognize the union by appealing the union registration to the Ministry of Human Resources. If the Ministry decides against recognition, union members are not protected from dismissals.”
The recognition can be obtained through 50 per cent plus 1 secret ballot vote in favour of the union. But the size of the bargaining unit is not legally determined, allowing employers to manipulate the votes. For instance they can add temporary or migrant workers who do not have the right to vote, but by default are considered voting against. This makes it difficult to get a 50 per cent threshold.
But problems do not discourage unions. In 2014 both EIEU and EIWU joined IndustriALL’s five-year organizing project for electronics workers in the ASEAN region. 600 trade unionists from IndustriALL affiliates in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan were trained in organizing and the results were immediate.
In Malaysia, EIEU Northern region has succeeded in organizing more than 900 workers at an electronics multinational company despite strong resistance and union busting tactics by the management. It is the first time the union has negotiated a collective bargaining agreement that includes migrant workers.
Describing his union organizing activities, Maniyam says:
“The activity is on-going, whether we succeed or fail. We identify new companies and try to get contact people there. Then we hold meetings to brief them on trade unions and their functions.”
In a move to recognize the role of women, a women’s committee made up of affiliates from IndustriALL Global Union was formed in 2014. EIWU representative Kumari was elected chairperson, and will make sure women’s issues are discussed and incorporated into the IndustriALL Malaysian Council’s priorities.
In June 2015, IndustriALL held a world conference on ICT Electrical and Electronics in Malaysia. The major topics discussed at the conference were organizing and fighting precarious work.