Some 500 workers gathered this morning to observe Labour Day at Dataran Seremban.
This year’s theme is ‘Economic crisis: Save the workers, not the cronies’.
Civil society and workers groups are demanding:
- a retrenchment fund with an initial contribution of RM0.5 billion from the government,
- a stimulus package that really provides jobs for unemployed Malaysians,
- discussions with banks to reschedule and reduce monthly housing loan replayments for low-income workers,
- agricultural land for retrenched workers so that they can engage in farming,
- food vouchers for families who have lost their livelihoods,
- no reduction in the corporate tax rate of 27 per cent,
- the fulfilment of election manifesto promises relating to maternity leave, minimum wage, and retirement benefits,
- a Minimum Wage Act for all workers and an end to the cheap labour policy.
- the ratification of the ILO Convention relating to domestic workers and other international instruments to ensure that workers’ rights and welfare are protected.
- the automatic recognition of trade unions and the repeal of laws that discriminate against workers and of any new laws that make it easier for employers to dismiss workers,
- an end to discrimination against female workers and the enactment of an anti-sexual harassment law,
- equal rights to be granted to migrant workers and that they be protected from harassment and abuse by enforcement personnel,
- economic policies that do not discriminate on the basis of race and gender but which are instead based on need and aimed at a fair and equitable participatory model of development,
- the termination of FTA negotiations with the EU and the US,
- an end to the evictions of urban pioneers and the repeal of the Emergency Ordinance (Squatter Clearance) 1969 be repealed. In their place, affordable housing schemes should be introduced.
- an end to the privatisation of basic services such as health and water supply,
- the repeal of law that oppress and discriminate against workers such as the ISA, OSA and the Trade Unions Act, and
- a clean, transparent, credible government free from corruption and cronyism.