Between 500 and 1000 workers have marched from Central Market to Dataran Maybank to mark Workers’ Day.
Many are disappointed that Najib’s newly introduced minimum wage of RM900 for the peninsula and RM800 for Sabah and Sarawak falls well short of the workers’ demand for RM1500.
Najib’s RM900 figure even falls short of Penang’s minimum monthly wage of RM 1,100 (including allowances and cost of living but excluding overtime) for employees of state agencies and government GLCs and Selangor’s RM1500 for employees of state GLCs.
In another development, while the Occupy Dataran activists were away from their camp site (at their new location at the Bar Council) to observe International Workers Day, they returned to find that their tent and many other belongings located in the Bar Council porch had been illegally confiscated. Occupy Dataran alleged in a tweet that 10 DBLK officers arrived at 10.20am to cart away the activists’ stuff in front of the Bar Council – without providing any written notice.
Anyway, what are the workers’ demands this year?
According to the May Day 2012 Organising Committee, the demands are:
- Repeal the implementation of the recent amendments to the Employment Act 1955;
- Stop arbitrary laws which exploit the workers – set up a Royal Consultative Committee, including representatives from the UN and ILO to review and repeal if necessary all repressive laws in Malaysia;
- Stop all propaganda and implement a minimum wage of RM1,500 and enact a Minimum Wage Act;
- Stop union busting and protect workers’ rights, reinstate all trade union leaders dismissed for trade union activities. Government organs and the judiciary must uphold workers’ rights including international instruments passed by the United Nations and the International Labour Organisation in the interest of human rights;
- Stop gender discrimination and discriminative policies whether in practice or in law. The Malaysian judiciary needs to respect and adopt the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as a legally binding instrument irrespective of whether it is incorporated as Malaysian law.
- Control the continuous increase of goods and services prices including oil and reinstate the government subsidy to the rakyat. Stop the Goods and Services Tax that is transferred from businesses to consumers, and stop the privatization of utilities, health and education schemes for the rakyat;
- Stop discrimination of migrant workers and accord them equal access to all essential services and protective rights including the right to join or form trade unions and to represent them;
- Stop the FTA negotiations in the interest of the rakyat;
- Don’t abuse mother earth – STOP LYNAS.