Unionists stage protest outside Parliament

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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.

READ MORE:  Why the minimum wage should be RM1,800 today - not RM1,100
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tunglang
tunglang
5 Oct 2011 8.48pm

In an age where Barang Naiki minions can get contracts (kang tau) without blinking an eye, the process of carrying out these projects is an easy outsourcing practiced before the Americans fervorly do it so commonly now. When there are cheapo labors added to the outsource equation, the envisaged higher profit margin is tempting enough not to call for more foreign workers. The parties involved in bringing in and authorize these foreigners also see the $$$rainbow in the equation. What else is more profitable cash business? Need no abacus to calculate ten digits revenue / side incomes for them. The… Read more »

Subhas
Subhas
5 Oct 2011 1.24pm

How can we achieve high income country when a lot of the industries (many get tax incentive to operate) depends on foreign workers which artificially depress the income structure here? This will also impact minimum wages drive. If min wages imposed on Malaysians only, more employers will resort to hire foreigners as to hire Malaysians would mean higher cost. If min wages implemented for everybody, overall cost for businesses will rise. And outflow of $$ out of the country would increase too as foreign workers will send back a larger amount of mny there. This will also increase problem of… Read more »

PETER LAI
PETER LAI
4 Oct 2011 10.39am

talking about Outsourcing even the so-called ori-maestros of penang heritage food have already outsourced some manual work to foreign labours. i’m surprised when i went for my favourite Won Ton Mee at Sungai Dua (name withheld but you can find that out). Preparatory work are handled by Indon workers. may be the boss still keeps the secret ingredient work in the inner kitchen. don’t be surprise after these foreign workers’ work permit expires, they return to open authentic penang street food at bandung, jakarta, dhaka etc (learned recipe from sifus in penang). not sure tunglang (heritage preservation advocates) can handle… Read more »

Erwin
Erwin
5 Oct 2011 10.46am
Reply to  PETER LAI

These foreign workers will not go back to their respective home countries because they can now settle comfortably and legally in Malaysia thanks to 6P program. It will not be surprising if they have Hishamudin idols in their home for worshipping for their good fortune. In the meantime, those enthusiasts of ori-maestro food (the name tunglang comes into picture) will have to learn to savour adulterated Wan Ton Mee 2.0, Bak Kut Teh 2.0 or Assam Laksa 2.0, cooked by these pendatang-turned-citizens as they would eventually have ‘updated’ the food with their Bakso-like ingredients and their own style of cooking.… Read more »

Syiok Syiok
Syiok Syiok
5 Oct 2011 1.01pm
Reply to  Erwin

now we have 3D movies.

with the advance of science, we can have 4D technology in near future such that we can feel the aroma of ori-maestro street food as described by tunglang.

just to make sure the right smell of the ori-maesto not version 2.0 or above (outsourced tastes) being preserved for future generations !

tunglang
tunglang
5 Oct 2011 9.30pm
Reply to  Erwin

Never mind, in the near future TCK Penangites and TCK foreign tourists will get to taste, know and swallow Penang Bastard Street Hawker Food. And no Bakso-flavors will ever make Penang’s once heavenly hawker food that famously delightful to the dancing taste buds except for those with Bakso-fed and dulled taste buds. For these short range slingshot Ori-Maestros that want fast bucks to reach Forbes magazine in the shortest time, they are just digging their own graves. They should learn from Toechew Chendol Ori-Maestro of Lorong Kheng Kwee to last the mile as a Chendol Brand. For this Chendol Ori-Maestro… Read more »

tuakee
tuakee
6 Oct 2011 11.10am
Reply to  tunglang

with a bit of creativity Penang street food can merge “WonTonMee” with “Bakso” to create new cuisine ?

tunglang, it’s worth exploring as such successful “kacukan dish” may be a bestseller appealing to Msians = may be substitute roasted pork with roasted chick to make it halal certified by Jakim ?

tuakee
tuakee
6 Oct 2011 11.49am
Reply to  tuakee

i said it to be a best-seller because the population of foreign workers (legal & illegal) will hit “explote” figure in Msia; and rather than be too alarmed by that (if not) then better cash in on the situation ==> these Indon or Bangla folks can appreciate wontonmee+bakso flavor !!!!!!

Simple Simon
Simple Simon
6 Oct 2011 12.31pm
Reply to  tunglang

Ori-maestros may have to alter their recipes, thus compromising the autheticity and food taste:
1) to cut cost with substitute materials in order to maintain price;
2) to appeal to the different taste-buds of pendatang asing that is fast becoming their core customers.
3) to meet halal requirements;
4) to suit the cooking ability of their assistant cooks who are mostly pendatang asing as the ori-maestro only focus on collecting money.

tunglang
tunglang
4 Oct 2011 8.04am

The poor and helpless (even those highly educated and working under these MNCs) of this indecent proposal to work like outsourced dogs will never ever overcome this indecency in million years to come. Only Arab Springs will break them (elitists) from this cycle of manipulation and discard. Only a nation with strong economic policies, prudent resource-based strategic management, consistent and vision-guided education policies, human resource skills empowerment & maximization and pro SMI & SME investments will see its denizens thro’ tough economic times. To continue to look to these MNCs is like living as beggars for crumbs while they rich… Read more »

JP
JP
4 Oct 2011 7.54am

Go to FTZ Penang and do a survey how many industries there are being OUTSOURCED ? there may be syndicates being favoured/protected to sustain such activities to the point that higher value added electronic industry seem so difficult to take off offering higher pay jobs to Penangites ! More high tech business means higher investment in eg automation capital expenditures requiring more brilliant ideas stopping brain drains to Spore for example. However, Msia electronic industries somehow still stuck in labor intensive work hence call for OUTSOURCE activities engaging more foreign labours not benefitting the locals more ???? today assembly line… Read more »

Erwin
Erwin
5 Oct 2011 10.33am
Reply to  JP

Most companies(sadly many of them received MIDA’s tax incentives) outsourced ‘non-critical’ jobs (cleaning, security, etc) to another company to cut cost primarily from benefits like medical/dental/insurance/EPF. The employees working for outsourced companies are very often get meagre daily-rated wages with no insurance protection, no medical/dental benefits and EPF. Outsourcing has therefore diluted the collective barganining power of the union as less company employees are represented. Hishamudin announced that there are now 1.3 million of unemployed pendatang that has been legalised through 6P program, and ready to be absorbed by greedy employers (mostly cronies that are politically connected) to lower their… Read more »

CPL
CPL
3 Oct 2011 11.27pm

Look around in Bayan Lepas, Penang. Outsourcing is THE thing, from production to workers. Big companies like Flextronics, Jabil, are in the out source business. Workers in these companies and many others like Agilent, Motorola, etc are from out source companies. Like it or not, this is the business model to survive in the cut throat world. Malaysia cannot escape from this

Grandpa
Grandpa
4 Oct 2011 7.41am
Reply to  Anil Netto

A BIG YES Anil.
These multinationals claim their FDIs are big things to Penang BUT still their goal is to squeeze every sweats from the workers to maximise profits and after all these years still pay meagre sum from production workers to engineers to junior managers !
Take Motorola or Jabil just for example
Guess how much they pay their fellow workers in USA, Hong Kong or Singapore ? At least 2 times more even before exchange rate conversions.

I support “Minimum Wage” theory – won’t hurt MNCs too much but help Msian workers to check the ever rising barang naik era.

Erwin
Erwin
4 Oct 2011 6.45pm
Reply to  Anil Netto

Yet the government is giving ‘tax incentives’ to these companies who are hiring foreign labor at low cost, thus supressing any opportunity for wage increase.

The unions should tell the government that we do not need these foreign workers.

Anyway, when was the last time those unions talk about productivity?

Syiok Syiok
Syiok Syiok
5 Oct 2011 12.38pm
Reply to  Erwin

Outsourcing with more foreign labours ? Read the potential likely scenario in the future : http://www.thesundaily.my/news/163387 “To reinforce the shift to higher value-added manufacturing, industries offering low wages should be actively discouraged while existing ones should be given several years’ notice and phased out. Additionally, higher levies should be imposed on companies requiring large numbers of low-skilled foreign labour. If Malaysians aren’t interested in working in electronic factories or in plantations, it doesn’t make sense for Putrajaya to continue to be an employment bureau for neighbouring countries. As long as wages remain low and hiring unskilled foreign labour is possible,… Read more »

tunglang
tunglang
3 Oct 2011 6.50pm

It seems the work man is a nameless commodity, ‘purchased’ at outsource value of unilateral understanding and easily discarded once over-used or exploited to the full vis-a-vis massive profit taking. The political ‘charge’ of today’s nations (industrialized 1st world to banana republic 3rd world) are too aligned to corporate arm twisting for their own longevity. It is no surprise in this age of ‘enlightenment’ of worker’s rights that such barbaric behavior of the Stone Age is still in common practice among cultured white collar management gangs of high sounding Havarda Legion School of Business Oppressors of Dark Ages. Hagar, The… Read more »

wandererAUS
3 Oct 2011 6.26pm

Are these fellas, Unionists or communists…the … Police may not know the difference! UMNO has made it a very complicating country…