Saturday, April 11, 2015

PKR MPs, Sim Tze Tzin and Manivannan, being anti-worker? Use worker entitlement for cleanliness courses?

PKR is anti-worker, that is what I see when PKR MPs Sim Tze Tzin and MP G. Manivannanare have been reported saying, amongst others, that they are planning to come up with Private Member Bill to, amongst others, take away 20% entitlement of existing workers' service charge ('tips')...and use that for courses on cleanliness, etc

'...they planned to propose that 2% of the 10% service charge be used for employees' development courses, including for service and cleanliness courses...'
The whole issue about service charge seem to have started when

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan today repeated his stand that customers had the right to refuse paying the 10% service charge imposed by restaurants and hotels. He said customers should be able to pay for service charge according to the amount that they desired or simply tip the employees. -
What Ahmad Maslan was advocating was taking away existing entitlements to workers. His suggestions were totally uncalled for. The government already gets its money from the GST, so why bother about the poor worker?? Ahmad Maslan's stance would have been expected from a BN person, but was the shocking PKR position being advocated by the PKR MPs - I never expected such anti-worker positioning from them.,

First, one must really understand what is this 'service charge'? In many countries, there is the practice of(or rather a requirement to...) pay TIPS to workers - but in some countries like Malaysia, these tips is paid to the workers at a fixed rate of 10%(or whatever other rate negotiated between workers and employers) - this is called the service charge. So, in Malaysia, no 'tips' required to be paid, only the service charge. Follow the link to understand better 'service charge' - Service Charge and employees of Hotel, Bar and Restaurants - Brief Introduction

Should basic wage of hotel employees be raised to at least RM900 to comply with Malaysian minimum wage requirement?

Service charge and/or tips are paid by the customer to the workers - it is not the employer's money. But some 'not so good employers' takes payment for the collection and distribution to workers these monies - they take 10% of the total or more.

For workers in the service industry, their wages are 'low' and the amount they take home really depends on this 'service charge'. The more the customers/business, the more money the workers take home.... If business good, the higher the sum of monies workers get...and if business is slow, the lower the amount of monies that they take home...  

It must be mentioned that 'service charge' are in most hotels and restaurant where the workers are unionized, and there is a collective bargaining agreement(CA). It could also be found in some places where there are no unions - where employers and their workers have an understanding. There is no 'tips' or 'service charges' in most of the ordinary restaurants the detriment of workers.
There are so many issues where the Opposition MPs can be preparing and tabling a Private Members Bill - but alas, these two PKR MPs have focussed on a Bill that would bring about injustice to workers. Suggesting that workers monies be expended for courses for the good of the business is absurd - it should be monies of the businesses that should be used for such courses... 

PKR and Pakatan Rakyat parties have already vague positions on worker and trade union rights issue. They have no clear stand even for the abolition of the contractor for labour system, the stop of 'union busting', etc... and now this report about a Bill that is detrimental to workers makes one wonder whether PKR is also pro-business and anti-worker? 

PKR plans private member’s bill to reform service charge

Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin says today 2% of the 10% service charge should be used for employees' development courses. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, April 11, 2015. 
Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin says today 2% of the 10% service charge should be used for employees' development courses. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, April 11, 2015.
PKR lawmakers are planning to table a private member's bill on service charge at the next Dewan 
Rakyat sitting, aiming to reform and improve the service industry's fee system.

Spearheaded by Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin and Kapar MP G. Manivannan, the process would begin by gathering information and feedback from various stakeholders in the service industry and public to understand their problems.

"We will start by taking complaints, and hold dialogues with stakeholders in service sectors, to understand their problems," Sim said.

"After the dialogue sessions, we will meet Fomca, and we will suggest a private member's bill to control service charge problems," he told reporters at the #bantahGST campaign today. He said service charge collection should be used to improve country's service industry, and they planned to propose that 2% of the 10% service charge be used for employees' development courses, including for service and cleanliness courses.

"What we want is a reform in service charge, to make sure the money goes to waiters and 2% goes to training and upgrading their skills and knowledge, like in hygiene matters."

He said the plan to table private member's bill was because of the BN government's failure to enact legislation to oversee the situation despite the fact that it has been implemented by hotels, restaurants and eateries for the past 20 years.

"If BN takes 20 years without any legislation to control service charge, we have to step in, because 
they are obviously sleeping on the job."

Today, The Malaysian Insider reported National Union of Hotel, Bar and Restaurant Workers secretary-general Rusli Affandi as saying it would take employers governed by collective agreements to court if they stopped imposing the 10% service charge.

It was mandatory for employers to collect the fee which constituted part of the union members’ wages, he said in response to diners who questioned the 10% service charge after the 6% goods and services tax (GST) was introduced on April 1.

"Employers must collect the service fee from customers or else they are breaching the collective agreement," said Rusli.

Sim said the reform in service charge was important for the benefit of various parties, ensuring consumers received good service based on what they paid, and also benefitting employees.

He said among the reasons people were not interested in joining the service sector was that they would only receive minimum wage, causing the sector to be dominated by foreign workers.

"PKR is of the opinion that if the service charge is enforced only to give to the employees and to improve the quality of their services, more people will be attracted to join the sector."

On the #bantahGST campaign, he said there was a possibility of the government withdrawing the goods and services tax (GST) if more people objected to the new tax regime.

"If more people object, there is a possibility of the government abolishing GST, as long as the rakyat really push for it, (because) we know Najib, he tends to buckle... he is a flipflop," he said referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"Feedback we have from the grounds is really bad, people are upset and angry, so we need to bring the voices to the Parliament and government, because we know that Najib is not listening.

"Once we achieve 200,000 signatures by May 1 and eventually achieve 1 million signatures, they will know people are really angry," he said, adding that they had received more than 15,000 signatures for an online petition at the website since its launch five days ago.

Meanwhile, Manivannan said the petition and signatures would be a signal from the people to the leadership that the new tax regime was oppressive and burdensome.

He said Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan had once said in Parliament that there were fewer complaints about GST, a sign that it was well-received and that people were happy with GST implementation.

"So I think the people need to rise and support our campaign,to send a strong signal to the Umno BN leaders especially Ahmad Maslan, that people are burdened by GST." – April 11, 2015.
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