KUCHING: Land Development Minister James Masing was not telling the whole story when he claimed in the media that “we have tried all this while to recruit locals, but there are no takers.”
“We reject claims that local workers refuse to work in plantations because it is a dirty and difficult job,” said Andrew Lo, Secretary of MTUC Sarawak, in a statement. “They refuse to work simply because the employers, through their economic might, have suppressed wages and imposed miserable and even demeaning terms and conditions of employment.”
The MTUC Sarawak was expressing concerns on 12,000 Bangladeshi workers being brought in to work in the plantation sector in Sarawak. MTUC wants a tripartite council to find holistic and long-term solutions to a problem that, if not addressed, will have grave security implications.