Some 200 unionists from the Malaysian Trades Union Congress staged a protest against proposed amendments to the Employment Act 1955 this morning.
But what exactly were they protesting against?
Basically, they are worried about amendments that could fundamentally dilute or obscure the employer-worker relationship through the use of labour outsourcing contractors.
While many have been side-tracked by Sodomy II etc, these amendments to labour laws could have far-reaching implications for Malaysian workers.
Charles Hector analyses the implications of the amendments:
The Barisan Nasional government once again shows itself as being anti-workers and anti-unions, by trying to change the very nature of employment relationships in Malaysia.
They are trying to ‘save’ companies and corporations from the ‘burdens’ of being employers. They are trying to free them from their obligations as employers to provide for the welfare and rights of the workers who work for them – the same workers who produce the products or carrying out the services that earn these employers their profits.
If you do not have employees, then you do not have to worry about any unions, collective bargaining agreements, employment agreements, getting rid of workers, rest day, annual leave, sick/hospitalisation leave, maternity leave, retirement age, social security schemes (Socso/Workmen’s Compensation), contributions to employees provident funds (EPF) or other retirement schemes, Labour Department complaints and cases by your worker-employees, Industrial Relations Departments or courts, levy payments, lay-offs and retrenchments. If you want to get rid of a worker, just pick up the phone and call their ‘employer’ and ask them to take the worker away – no worry about due process, domestic inquiry, termination notices, and wrongful dismissal allegations.
Full story on the Aliran website.