| MTUC backs Harapan, urges 14m workers to show their might
| Tuesday, May 08, 2018
Malaysiakini : GE14 | The Malaysia Trades Union
Congress (MTUC) has called on the 14 million-strong workforce in the
country to vote for Pakatan Harapan in the 14th general election
In a statement today, MTUC secretary-general J Solomon said doing so
would send the message that workers are key to the country's economy and
"should never be ignored". "Workers have the power to vote out any government that is
anti-labour, and kleptocratic because the workers' voice and strength
are sacred and powerful. "We want a government that gives us equal respect in a tripartite
body, so that workers can have an equitable share in the wealth of the
nation," he said.
According to Solomon, wages are low and workers are becoming poorer,
and the situation is compounded by the rising cost of living and the
goods and services tax (GST). "75 percent of Malaysians do not have enough savings to tide them
over for more than a week without work, and 18 percent of Employees
Provident Fund (EPF) members will be living just above the poverty line,
"Unions are necessary to uplift the socio-economy of the working
class, but here in Malaysia, they are being suppressed by archaic laws
with no indication of being repealed. "Our pleas to the government to reform the laws have fallen on deaf
ears, but when the interests of those in power are affected, such laws
are introduced speedily to protect their interests," said Solomon,
adding that the caretaker prime minister and his deputy, had failed to
respond to MTUC's appeals on various workers' issues.
Three million jobs for whom?
Solomon also noted that the three million jobs promised by BN in its
manifesto, in the next five years, is "ambiguous" as it was not stated
whether it's for locals or migrant workers from China. He pointed out that the promise of 1.5 million jobs listed in the 11th Malaysian Plan is also yet to be fulfilled. Solomon then alleged that the government also interfered in the administration of MTUC, causing a rift in its leadership.
"Human and workers' rights have been left out of the education
syllabus so students, even university graduates, are not aware of their
basic rights. "Our greatest wealth is unity in the multiracial country and we
cannot jeopardise this rich culture for the greed of power, wealth and
under the disguise of industrial revolution 4.0," he said.
"Having considered all factors that has taken place in the last one
year and five months, and having seen the deteriorating condition of
workers and trade union rights, as an elected secretary-general of MTUC
and the chief executive of MTUC, despite having supported the BN
government in the past, I am duty bound to appeal to you to change the
government," Solomon appealed.
Harapan, he added, should be given an opportunity to serve Malaysians
for at least the next five years, and if they do not deliver as
promised, can be replaced in the next election.
|posted by D Swami Gwekanandam @ 12:41 PM