Sunday, June 30, 2019

Workers From Africa For The Plantation Sector

Press Release - Workers From Africa For The Plantation Sector

The Human Resources Minister's statement that, he has approached ambassdors of Africian nations for the possibility of providing workers to our plantation sector, is a matter of concern for us.
 The Minister attributes his action on account of workers from Vietnam and Indonesia shying away from working in the plantation sector. And the reason is, that, wages in their country has grown to match wages paid by the Malaysian plantation sector.

If the Minister's statement was a fact, which we have little reason to doubt, it brings into focus the question of whether wages of the Malaysian plantation workers has stagnated in comparison to  wage empowerment in Vietnam and Indinesia?

 Accepting the Minister's statement as a fact what that needs to be addressed is the solution to the reality i.e. whether we source for an alternative influx of migrant workers at "competetive" wages from Africa, or anywhere else for the matter, or we elect to empower the wage levels within the country.

On the said issue we wish to refresh the Minister, and the government, on the call, by none other than Bank Negara Malaysia, for a 'living wage' module to be adopted as oppossed to the current 'minimum wage' concept.

Given the fact that the current 'minimum wage' of RM 1,100 is judged as inadequate by our ASEAN  workers we are of the view that there is a serious mis-match of wage levels in Malaysia as compared to Vietnam and Indonesia. The solution therefore, in our opinion, is for our country to move up the wages chain least we are looked upon as a low wage dumpsite'

MTUC Penang Division, therefore, wishes to reiterate its demand that the government introduces a 'living wage' that would attract our workers to take up jobs not only in the plantation sector but all others sectors as well.

In conclusion it is our view that sourcing labour from one region or another would never be a solution unless our government empowers our workers with a equtiable living wage.

Secretary MTUC Penang Division
016 4184520