Monday, March 23, 2015

Pekerja boleh dapatkan bantuan guaman untuk menuntut keadilan..

Resolutions Adopted at the 69th Annual General Meeting of the Malaysian Bar Held at Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel (Saturday, 14 Mar 2015) 

Resolution 3

Motion for the Provision of Legal Aid and Assistance to Workers”, proposed by Charles Hector Fernandez, dated 5 Mar 2015


1)  Workers in Malaysia whose rights are violated have the right to lodge claims with the Human Resource Department (HRD) (formerly known as Labour Department), the Industrial Relations Department (IRD) or other available avenues – but workers need legal advice and assistance to be able to effectively determine and document their claims, which would also include identifying and preparing the requisite evidence, be it documentary evidence or available witnesses, to support their claim. Workers generally do not have the capacity, legal knowledge or know-how to be able to do this.

2)  Less than 5% of workers in the private sector are unionized, and as such the majority of the about 13 million workers in Malaysia, of which about 2.9 million are migrant workers, will not have even have access to union assistance. Most unions also do not have the capacity and legal knowledge needed to assist workers with their claims.

3)  After the lodging of complaints, if the matter cannot be resolved by conciliation, in the HRD, it proceed to a hearing before the Labour Court – whereby proceedings are akin to any court proceedings, whereby the worker have the right to be represented by a lawyer. Most employers are currently represented by lawyers but most workers are not. This is an unjust situation.

4)  The worker claims at the HRD generally is small and not very large, and employing the services of a lawyer would mean paying more than the amount claimed for, or a significant percentage of the total claim. Lawyers ordinarily will not likely to take up such cases.

5)  At present, when a worker is successful in claim at the HRD or Labour Court (HR Court), what he will get is only the amount that the employer should have originally paid him but failed to. In proceeding with the claim, the worker loses monies in terms of transport and even lost days of work. Hence, at the end of the day, the worker loses out. When an employer cheats the workers, by, amongst others, the non-payment of monies due, the law should provide deterrence in the form of maybe requiring the said employer to pay double or triple the amount of payable to the worker.

6)  The Bar Council Legal Aid Centres has the capacity and the ability to assist, provide legal assistance and even representation for workers from the point before the worker lodges any complaints/claims to the point of the final settlement of the claim, and this legal aid should be provided to all workers, including migrant workers, especially those whose basic wages do not exceed RM3,000. 

7)  National Legal Aid Foundation, at present, does not extend its services to claims for worker rights.

We hereby resolve:

(1)  That Malaysian Bar, through its Legal Aid Centres, extends the services of providing advice, assistance and legal representation for workers from the point of intending to file a complaint at the Human Resource Departments (Labour Offices) or other avenues of justice to the full settlement of the said cases.

(2)  The Malaysian Bar shall also do the needful to make the National Legal Aid Foundation extend its services to also worker rights violations.

(3)  The Bar Council also do the needful to create awareness of, and if possible, provide training on, worker rights, including how to use all available channels to access for justice for workers, including providing necessary training for lawyers, workers and trade unions.

(4)  That the Bar Council shall call upon Malaysia to review all existing labour legislation, also with a view of providing more deterrent penalties for employers and just remedies for workers who have been exploited or cheated by employers. 

4 workers die after lift crash at Putrajaya construction site – Bernama

4 workers die after lift crash at Putrajaya construction site – Bernama

Four foreign national workers died when a lift at the site of a high-rise condominium under construction in Precinct 15 in Putrajaya crashed from the 13th floor today.

In the 10.45am accident, three Indonesian workers died at the scene, while a Bangladeshi worker died at Hospital Putrajaya at 3pm while undergoing treatment.

Putrajaya CID chief DSP Zaihairul Idrus said the three Indonesians, in their 20s, and the Bangladeshi worker, in his 40s, believed to be the elevator operator, died due to severe head and body injuries.

The bodies of the Indonesians were also sent to the Putrajaya Hospital. Zaihairul said the lift is believed to have crashed after its braking system reportedly failed.

Several bags of cement estimated to weigh about 1,200 kilogrammes were also in the lift, he said.

Police have classified the case as sudden death and have notified the Indonesian Embassy and the Bangladesh High Commission about the deaths.

Pending an investigation into the accident, work at the site has been temporarily stopped, he said. – Bernama, March 23, 2015.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

MTUC Says Employers Must Stop Turning Regular Employees into Precarious Short-Term Contract Employees

Media Statement – 1/3/2015

MTUC Says Employers Must Stop Turning Regular Employees into Precarious Short-Term Contract Employees

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) is shocked that some employers are unconscionably ‘forcing’  regular employees until retirement to become precarious short-term contract employees. Workers are literally given no choice in the matter, and threats of termination have apparently been used to compel workers to abandon their existing security and rights as a regular employee.

Many of these workers are without unions, and hence do not have the capacity to resist – and so easily are these individual workers oppressed by such immoral employers. 

In a recent case, that came to the attention of MTUC, some of these were apparently regular employees for over 15 years – and suddenly they have been ‘tricked’ into abandoning their existing better rights as a  regular employee, and accepting precarious short–term employment contracts. In this case, the workers felt that they had no choice but to tender their resignation as directed or ‘ordered’ by their employers, and to thereafter sign new short-term employment contracts. The workers were, of course, afraid of losing their jobs and income if they did not do what they were asked to do, and so many have just signed these letters of resignation, and these new precarious employment agreements. These immoral practices are also happening at other workplaces. Workers are being made to sign agreements where rights and benefits enjoyed before by workers are taken away.

There is currently no effective legal remedy available in the labour laws of Malaysia to stop employers cheating workers out of their rights as secure regular employees – a worker right that is so necessary for the welfare and wellbeing of the worker and their families. Now, after the signing away of their rights, without the benefit of advice from unions or lawyers, it is almost impossible to get justice. If these workers were to resist employer demands, they would most likely be terminated, and the process of claiming reinstatement in Malaysia is just too long and expensive for most workers – and these exploited workers is denied justice. Justice delayed is justice denied.

MTUC urges the Malaysian government to put in place laws that will prevent employers from using any such means or schemes, including agreements, that at the end of the day will result in workers losing better rights they did, or now, enjoy, and ending up with lesser rights. Cheating of workers of their existing better rights must stop. All forms of precarious employment relationship and practices, which make workers more easily exploitable, must also be abolished.

MTUC also calls on workers faced with such threats and pressure to immediately seek advice from MTUC, trade unions or lawyers first. Do not sign any such resignation letters or new employment contracts with first getting legal advice. 

Workers alone can so easily be cheated and oppressed, and it is essential for workers to stand together in solidarity to resist any such cheating or injustice. MTUC calls on all workers in Malaysia to form and join trade unions, and stand together to resist such attempts by employers to cheat and deprive workers of existing better rights like regular employment. 

N. Gopalkishnam
Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC)