Friday, November 04, 2011

More reports about MTUC nationwide protests on 3/11/2011

Live report: MTUC launches nationwide picket

Source: Komunitikini (

The scene at Shah Alam around 5.30 this evening

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress nationwide picket begins today. The MTUC is protesting proposed amendments to the Employment Act 1955, especially the proposal to amend the term “sub-contractor for labour” to “contractor for labour” under Section 2 because it takes away protection of the rights of contract labourers. Instead, the agencies supplying workers to a third party under the contract for labour would become employers of the workers;

The implications of this are that workers will not have job security as they would be under the contractor’s payroll and not be under the main employer; and, there will also be discrimination in the workplace as not all workers will enjoy the same wages, benefits and rights despite doing the same work.

The MTUC contends that the proposed amendment will also remove the obligations and duties of employers towards their workers; and, that labour suppliers are allowed to gain commission from the wages of workers.

5.00PM Kuala Lumpur:  200 workers converged in front of the KWSP (EPF) Building to express their discontent over the amendment.

Gathering as early as 5pm, the group which is also led by MTUC was backed by top Pakatan Rakyat and Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) leaders.

Among those present were DAP supremo and Ipoh Timur MP Lim Kit Siang, Sibu MP Wong Ho Leng, Kuala Krai MP Mohd Hatta Ramli and PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan.

The group chanted “Withdraw the amendment”, “Long live MTUC” and “Minister – Step down” in reference in Human Resource Minister S Subramaniam whose discussion with has been a stalemate.

They also put up some 10 banners condemning the amendment while others held up placards reading “Don’t pawn worker’s right” and “Minister cheats workers”.

Meanwhile, PKR in solidarity with MTUC has also planned its own protests in four locations at Kuala Langat, Shah Alam, Hulu Selangor and Klang.

The amendment to the Employment Act was passed in Parliament on Oct 6 after last ditch negotiations and protest between MTUC and the government fell apart.

Union members from Melaka

515PM Melaka: Some 400 union members picketed in Melaka. Azlan Tajuddin, Malacca MTUC branch secretary, said that the government should take heed of the union demands because it will affect the future of our children.

530PM Petaling Jaya: The group in PJ was led by MTUC secretary-general Abdul Halim who estimated that the number of participants in the picket nationwide comes close to 10,000.
Also present to share their solidarity were Senator Syed Husin Ali, Selayang MP William Leong, PJ Selatan MP Hee Loy Sian, PKR vice president N Surendran and human rights group Suaram chairperson K Arumugam.

525PM Kota Kinabalu: The MTUC picket begins! Catherine Jikunan from MTUC Sabah division reports that “we are about to begin our picket but the police OCPD are trying to stop us from conducting the picket.”

534PM Kota Kinabalu: OCPD ACP Ahmad Sofi ariving to Tang Dynasty Hotel – there are approximately 30-40 people present.

537PM Johor Bahru: About 150 protesters from 27 unions are picketing at Kampung Pasir along the Skudai highway. An equal number of police personnel is present. The picket is headed by the Johor MTUC chairman, Tan Eng Hong, who is also the president of NUBE (National Union of Banking Employees). The are protesting against two amendments to the Employment Act, relating to overtime payment and allowing companies to outsource labour from third parties rather than employing them directly.
Picketers with placards in Johor Bahru

Johor Bahru unionist brandishing banner for their support for MTUC

545PM Johor Bahru: Protesters are being advised to move to an inner road to continue their picket for safety reasons. More people are joining the picket after rushing from their places of work. Tan says the union expects more than 300 people to join the picket.

Picketers in Seberang Perai, Penang

547PM Seberang Perai: 1000 people are picketing in front of Padang Kilat, near Pearl View Hotel, Seberang Prai – Picketers are spread all along the road. Members of the Angkatan Muda Keadilan were seen joining the picket. There’s a slight commotion reported between the AMK members and the police.
Penang MTUC secretary K.Veeriah the workers fully condemned the amendments, saying it was “totally irresponsible” towards workers.

He added that the law would institutionalise contract workers and would eventually result in principle employers washing their hands of their workers plight.

“There would be third persons who will handle the contract workers and the amendments also provides for the workers pay to be deferred for a month,” he told reporters.

“What happens when the contractor runs out of money or if they decide to terminate the workers?” he added.

State MTUC chief S Ravindran said that more actions are planned to increase awareness of workers on the impact of the amendments on ordinary workers. Ravindran said the picket was necessary in the hope that the amendments can be stopped at senate level, after being endorsed by Parliament.

Picketing union members under the watchful eyes of the police in Kuantan

Union members in Kuantan

550PM Kuantan: Some 200 union members gathered in Kuantan.

556PM Kota Kinabalu: 20 trade union members who came to picket carrying banners and placards are given 10 minutes to disperse by the Kota Kinabalu OCPD. All picketers are asked for their IC numbers.

600PM Seberang Perai: The picket went on for about 90 minutes but at 6pm, police intervened and asked the MTUC leaders to disperse the crowd, which they refused. Veeriah said he had told the “boss” that the picket would continue until 6.30pm and that the police should not “harass” the workers before that to end the event.

602PM Kota Kinabalu: Five protesters are arrested and brought to the Karamunsing police station but they were released soon after the union officials intervened.

629PM Kota Bharu: No one turned for the MTUC picket.

630PM Petaling Jaya: More than 300 union members were present at Jalan Barat (opposite PJ Hilton). Picket ended without any untoward incident. Police were present to ensure safety and to control traffic.

630PM Seberang Perai: No untoward incident took place during the event, and 6.30pm, the crowd dutifully dispersed.

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