Thursday, January 17, 2013

Call to abolish contractor for labour or 'outsourcing'

Call to abolish contract labour

KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 6, 2013): A coalition of 20 trade unions and NGOs has called for the abolition of contract labour, highlighting that the status allows for widespread abuse without much needed protection for workers.

Malaysian Workers Network (MWN) coordinator A. Sivananthan said workers hired by contractors suffered low wages, few medical and social benefits, as well as lack of job security.

"Contract for labour has brought us back to the slavery stage. 

"It is exploitation as these workers have minimal benefits compared to permanent staff but in their desperation for a job, they normally will sign the contract even if it is not in their favour," he said at a press conference after the launch of the Workers' Manifesto today. 

According to MWN, there are around 42,000 contract workers in the public sector alone.

National Union of Bank Employees assistant honorary general secretary A. Karuna said if the government had a large number of contract workers, then there would be more in the private sector. 

"Contractor for labour is still legally permissible under the Employment Act 1955. 

"Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said in March that contract workers would only be in the plantation sector, but it was a verbal statement and the law remains unchanged," she said.

Karuna added that these workers did not deal directly with the employers. As such, it was impossible for them to sue their employers for mistreatment or exploitation.

Former international trade unionist P. Arunasalam said in the past 30 years, in-house unions have been the popular option as they are created by the employers. 

"It is hard to get such a union recognised; they're too small to make any difference and cannot afford to bring the employer to court. 

"If the existing unions do not unite and create a labour movement, this whole fight will be in vain," he said. 

In the manifesto, MWN demanded the implementation of a RM1,500 minimum wage, the recognition of workers' rights and ensuring the welfare of workers with focus on women, among others.
Oppressed People Network national coordinator S. Parames said copies of the manifesto with an endorsement form attached will be sent to all political parties ahead of the 13th general election. - Sun Daily, 6/1/2013, Call to abolish contract labour

See also:-

93 Groups:- Abolish the ‘Contractor for Labour’ system Withdraw the 2012 amendments to Employment Act 1955.

In 2011, 115 groups said 'NO' to labour law amendments ..and the protest continues


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