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!

MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520

Thursday, May 2, 2019

MTUC PENANG DIVISION - PM's view on low wages


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.

Secretary MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Reforming Employment Act 1955

A coalition of 55 trade unions, worker organisations and NGOs have submitted proposals on Employment Act amendments to Ministry of Human Resources in January 2019.

We submitted 44 recommendations. The 7 key recommendations :
1) Same rights for all
2) 40 hour of work
3) 98 days maternity leave
4) No discrimination
5) Stop sexual harassment
6) End subcontracting activities
7) Migrant workers' right to redress.

More information please click :

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

MTUC Penang Division

MTUC Penang Division is given to understand that Flyglobal Charter Snd Bhd  an airline operating Haj flights to the holy land, has failed to pay wages to some 300 of its employees since January 2019.

According to the National Union Of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM) it has received complaints from its members, and workers from the said airline, on the matter. According to NUFAM the said employer has also failed to make contributions to the EPF and SOCSO. Attempts, by NUFAM to seek a meeting with the said employer to pursue an amicable settlement in the matter, has not been successful on account of the management's refusal to meet up with the said union.

MTUC Penang Division, at the on-set, extends its solidarity with the affected workers of Flyglopal airlines - we can relate with the plight of having to meet with their economic obligations minus their only source of income. Having said that we condemn, in no uncertain terms, the lack of compassion on the part of the management of Flyglopal in denying the rightful, and lawful, wages due to the employees concerned. It is our view that irregardless of all other considerations no employer can claim a justification to deny or deprive workers of their hard earned wages. It is immoraly wrong and legally unacceptable!

Having regard to equity and good comscience we implore upon Flyglopal to  pay all outstanding wages to the workers concerned without any further delay. To the management of Flyglopal we say this- to work without been paid is nothing more than bonded labour!

MTUC Penang Division also calls upon the relevant agencies of the Ministry Of Human Resources to initiate immediate course of action in assisting NUFAM, and the affected workers, in the payment of wages so due to the workers. We also call upon MAVCOM and, by extension the Ministry Of Transport, to look into the matter as the said airline may well be in breach of its regulations in the matter.

Secretary MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520

Monday, March 11, 2019


MTUC Penang has taken sight of notices from a couple of MNCs involved in the electronic manufacturing sector announcing manpower downsizing, lower wage increases, lower bonuses and periodic plant shut-downs. Besides the said written annoucements that we have seen we have also received reports that other companies are also planning to implement such measures.

The said notices, that we have read, attributes a weak global demand, weaker growth and an uncertain global outlook as the underlying causes for the course of actions that are undertaken by the said employers. The notices that we have seen, and the informations that we are receving, seems to indicate that the electronic sector employers are initiating down sizing and shut downs from end March 2019 onwards. It is our beleive that we have only received a tiny bit of information and are of the view that the uncertainity of the global market would, in all probabality, impact upon most of the major players in the sector. It is, therefore, our view that the Penang state government ought to call for a meeting with the electronic manufacters in Penang so that the depth of the problem can be appreciated. Such a meeting would also give the state an insight as to the manufacturers plan of actions in the face of challenges facing the sector. We would also take the liberty to propose that the said meeting be inclusive of all stake-holders, including the unions.

On the issue of plant shut-downs MTUC Penang demands that full wages be paid during such periods as any loss of wages would, inevitably, put tremendous pressure on the economical needs of the workers especially so with the prevailling escalating cost of living factors.

Secretary MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520

Friday, March 8, 2019

MTUC Penang Division views with utmost concern the eviction of tenants from their Taman Manggis homes by the state government of Penang. It is our view that the scales of compassion, and social justice, ought to have been the over riding consideration over the state government's unilateral rules on the eligibility of occupation of the units so allocated to the poor.

As we understand it the said eviction is being justified, amongst other issues, on the occupants income exceeding the limits so set by the authorities. On this score the question that needs to be postulated is whether the affected people's income has taken them out of the bottom 40 (B40) of income parity? MTUC Penang Division, thus, calls upon the state government to disclose the income levels of all those who stand deprived of their homes i.e. if they have moved out of the bottom 40!

It is also our view that, irregardless of income levels, the government has a moral obligation to provide affordable housing to the middle and low income wage earners of the nation. We, nevertheless, take cognisance of the fact that it is easier said then done! That, however, cannot justify the state government's action in throwing the Taman Manggis citizens into the streets the end result being them joining the homeless statstic of Penang.

Whilst the state government is determined on the massive creation of man made islands in the name of bringing development where is the focus on affordable homes that are to be build in the said reclaimed islands? It is obvious, in our view, that the state is paying lip service to the plight of the B40 and M40 segment of the citizens as opposed to the interest of the capitalist class!

MTUC Penang Division, therefore, demands that all the tenants so displaced from their Taman Manggis homes be given back their homes. We also call upon the state to give utmost consideration in providing for affordable homes for the B40 and M40 in the state.

Press release

MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Minister, remember the RM1,500 minimum wage pledge?

Press Release
MTUC Penang Division

MTUC Penang Division is shocked at the Human Resources Minister's statement that the current minimum wage of RM1100.00 is to "high" for some sectors- FMT today.

Firstly, we wish to remind the Minister of the Pakatan Harapan government's pledge to a minimum wage of RM1500.00 as declared in its manifesto. Secondly, we wish to remind him, least he  has a case of memory lost, of the Pakatan Harapan's commitment to enhancing the minimum wage to RM1500.00 over the period of its term of office.

Thirdly, we wish to tell the Minister to look at the indisputable fact that the Malaysian workers do not even earn a living wage. On this score we make reference to the Bank Negara's report that the working people of the nation ought to be paid a living wage as compared to a minimum wage. The said Bank Negara report, as we recollect, in a nut-shell states that our workers are not paid a decent living wage that would be adequate to meet the prevailing cost of living factors let alone residual income for home ownership etc.

The fact that workers, Malaysians or migrants,  work excessive overtime hours so as to meet their economical needs was exposed in the cases of workers employed in the rubber glove manufacturing sector, recently, stands as evidence that the wage levels of the working population of the country is grossly inadequate so much so it was equated to bonded labour!

Given the fact that the vast majority of the working citizens are entrapped in the B40 and M40 segment it is no gain saying that the Pakatan Government is beholden to structure, and execute, economic programmes to empower them. Let us also remind the Minister, and by extentsion the Pakatan Harapan government, that a failure to do would not augur well for the future of the current givernment!

MTUC Penang Division, therefore, calls upon the Minister Of Human Resources to refrain from making statements without considerations to the wider concerns of the working population on the issue of a decent living wage.

Secretary MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


In the space of the last few days statements have been attributed to the Penang chief minister, and the CEO of PBA Jaseni Maidinsa, on the possibilty of water charge rate increase and a statistical analysis of the water consumption trends in Penang, respectively.

 The Penang Chief Minister's statement was  that the Penang state government is seeking the federal goverment's "blessing" in increasing the water comsumption rates by between 10 to 20% in the state. He seems to justify such an increase on the basis that Penang's water comsumption levy is the lowest in the country.

On the other hand PBA's CEO states that the people of Penang have lowered their water consumption from 291 liters per capita per day  in 2010 to 276 liter in 2017. And he states it was because of the imposition of a water conservation surcharge (WCS) imposed on consumers. On this issue it needs to be asked whether it was the WCS that brought down consumption or whether it was as a result of the consumers awareness in reducing water consumption or a combination of the factors in the matter. On both counts it cannot be denied that water consumption, in the state, is on the down ward trend. Given that fact we find it hard to comprehend the state government's proposal to burden Penang water consumers with a 10 to 20% increase in water tariff.

As it is the working population are confronted with ever escalating cost of living and to, further, burden them with an increase in water consumption rates would not only be unjustified but immoral given the Pakatan Harapan's pledge to lighten the economic burden of the people.

MTUC Penang Division, therefore, calls upon the Penang state government to embark on creating greater awareness on conservation of water consumption as opposed to burdening the people of Penang with a 10 to 20% increase in water tariff.

MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520

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