Wednesday, April 22, 2015

An oppressive, exploitative and worker rights violating government organizing Labour Day Rally?

Worker and Trade Union Rights have been eroded and not promoted or protected by the UMNO-led government, to the Barisan Nasional government, since our independence in 1957. The British colonial government saw the labour movement of Malaya then a threat to its political power and also its business's profits - so the strong and vibrant labour movement was suppressed  - and hopes that Independence would reverse things dissipated as years past. 

Worker and trade union rights in BN-ruled Malaysia (Part 1)

Workers’ and trade union rights in BN-ruled Malaysia (Part 2)

MAY DAY (1st May) - This is the day when workers come together to celebrate worker solidarity, worker struggle and worker successes. And it was the trade unions and worker groups that organized events and programs of the day and utilized this opportunity of a rare public holiday for almost all workers in Malaysia to gather workers together and celebrate...
Labour Day is held each year on 1st May. Labour Day is a national holiday for Malaysia, as well as for more than 80 other countries around the world. Historically, Labour Day is a celebration of the economic and social achievements of workers, including the establishment of the 8-hour day in many countries during the 1800s.

Prior to the economic reason for Labour Day, 1st May was also a celebration of the start of the season of Spring, particularly in Great Britain, Europe and North America, and was often called May Day.

In Malaysia, the origins of Labour Day are rarely thought of anymore, and the general public will normally use the day off to visit family, travel (if it’s a weekend), or to shop at the city malls. -

8-hour day.... well, in Malaysia, this right has been eroded away - and an employer on application can make workers work longer hours...

In 1989, the government amended the law (Employment (Amendment) Act 1989 Act A716) allowing for the Minister to waive these rights as to required hours of work, on the application of the employer, but retained the condition that no worker is required to work for more than forty-eight hours in one week, which subsequently was removed by yet another amendment in 1998 (Employment (Amendment) Act 1998 Act A1026).

What was obviously missing was the requirement of the prior agreement of the worker and/or the relevant union,... Worker and trade union rights in BN-ruled Malaysia (Part 1)
When you search the internet, sadly we see no programs organized by MTUC, Trade Unions and Workers for 1st May 2015 (There may be 'private programs' - but alas there seem to be no information on the internet). 

Unions may be organizing programs for their members - but really when they are a National/Regional Union, should this not also include workers who really qualify to be members of the Union, who are yet to be... and for this group - you need information online and on banners, etc ... 

MTUC - well, they are recognized by this Malaysian BN Government as being the representative of  ALL workers - not just unionized workers or members of the union members of MTUC. As such, they have the obligation to be LEADING ...ORGANIZING  events for ALL workers - and this information need be publicly available - if not, how will workers of non-MTUC member Unions even know of the celebrations? Looking at the MTUC website, we see NO plans for any celebration in 2015?

Well, from the internet, we know that the Malaysian Government is organizing a Labour Day Rally in Sarawak, and the Prime Minister will be there....

Noting the poor record of respect and promotion of worker and trade union rights record of this government, this is absurd > Is it a celebration of erosion of worker rights? 

Now, the question is whether trade unions will be 'boycotting' or being a part of this celebration? 

Will the MTUC and other Trade Unions be organizing events of their own for workers in Malaysia on 1st May - or will they not 'clash' with the government organized event out of 'respect'?

Some people can sadly be oppressed ...exploited...have rights violated...betrayed -- BUT they still are friends and even show respect and loyalty to the OPPRESSOR... or those who had failed to do anything to end exploitation and injustice. 

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