While all attention was focused on Budget Day “goodies” yesterday, few noticed the BN government dealing a devastating blow to workers with the passing of damaging amendments to the Employment Act.
The Bill, which was passed on Thursday (Budget Day eve) after a five-hour debate, will fundamentally alter the employer-employee relationship and undermine workers’ rights. Initially, unionists were under the impression that the Bill would only be tabled at the end of October. (See FMT report here.) So why was it rushed through?
Job security, retrenchment benefits and other rights taken for granted now will now be up in the air. Labour will increasingly be outsourced with little protection while the real employers, the factory owners, wash their hands off their responsibility as employers.
These regressive amendments reflect the pro-corporate, pro-employer, pro-investor orientation of the government. Crumbs (so-called “goodies”) are thrown to the people in the Budget. But when it comes to the crunch – the employer-employee relationship – we know whose side the government takes.
What does Najib have to say about these amendments? And what is the stand of the top Pakatan leaders on this issue?