Saturday, October 29, 2016

Government should ensure workers not paid Minimum Wages - get the amount due in 2 weeks from date of complaint?

MINIMUM WAGES -  Is there a need for a re-think?

Now, Malaysian law requires all employers to pay Minimum Wages - be it in the factories in the Klang Valley or a small shop in a small town. 

A very smart strategy for a pro-business government - because this approach affects every employer in the country - even the small businesses in small towns that sometimes are struggling to survive..hence making the 'employers' voice' stronger...UNJUST as it benefits big businesses and high profitable employers. 

A MORE JUST SOLUTION may be to Minimum Wage mandatory to all factories and businesses utilizing(or employing) 10 workers or more, or those that are making profits of RM100,000 or more. Why RM100,000? Well, we assume that the owners of the businesses also need to make money - and, let's say that there are 3 persons here, and if we give them each about RM3,000 monthly, that will be about RM36,000 X 3 = RM108,000 per person. 

What about the others, will there be a minimum wage? Yes, maybe there will be a lower mandatory wage requirement, provided there is within the employment contract a profit sharing clause where all workers collectively will be entitled to get profit sharing if there is a profit over RM50,000.

In India, there are different minimum wages for different regions, for reasonably cost of living in Klang Valley and major towns is so much higher than smaller towns and rural areas - hence a worker in a region with a higher cost of living deserves to receive a higher minimum wage. Maybe, Malaysia should also consider this..

Minimum wage should be directly tied up to cost of living and inflation, and as such if in the next 2 months the cost of living increases, then naturally the Minimum Wage must also similarly increase. It is as such foolish for the UMNO-BN government to suggest that Minimum Wage rates now will also be increased in 2018. [A few years ago, the cost of iced coffee was RM1, but today it costs about RM1.80 in a small restaurant in a small town, A low cost house cost RM40K but now it is more than RM100K]. So cost of living is rising - but what about wages? REAL Wages for many workers in fact is decreasing...and this neo-liberal government is removing subdies, raising parking and toll rates and charging GST for 60 cents stamps, which is not helping at all. 

Remember, it was this UMNO-BN policy for keeping wages low in Malaysia to attract the investor and corporations, and it was OK since the government then kept cost of living low through subsidies, etc - but now, it is all going and cost of living is increasing, and wages are not rising as fast - hence, the buying power of workers are declining..

MANAGEMENT FAILURE TO PAY MINIMUM WAGES - well, it should be the government who should be checking regularly, and if there are cases, the employers should be speedily ordered to pay - why the delay? Why is it taking so long to investigate...

up to Aug 31, 1,853 claims submitted   - claims should be dealt with speedily, certainly in 14 days time, if not in a months time - and workers should receive what they justly ought to have received. So far, only 549 cases have been tried (what does this mean? The only question is whether the workers have received what ought to have been paid by employers...that is it).

Why even a trial? All that needs to do is to check the pay slips - and that is it. This is a simply matter and ought to be dealt speedily. [Is the government freezing the accounts of companies the sum that is due and payable to workers - which they should]. TRIAL - do the workers need to pay for lawyers, cost of travel and court attendance too - REMEMBER, the Industrial Court does not order all the monies spent to recover their entitlement is just being borne by workers? If employers do not pay Minimum Wages to workers, then they should be made to pay 1.5 the amount of monies still due and payable to workers, plus interest at the rate of 8% from the date the payment should have been made until the date of judgment/actual payment. Further, these employers must be fined a sum equal to the amount they failed to pay their workers, not less than RM5,000 - fines go to the government so workers do not benefit. DETERENCE is important.

The current Minimum Wage is absurd because even if both husband and wife is working - this will come to RM2,000. [Malaysian government considers that families earning less than RM3,000 - RM4,000 require financial assistance - BR1M?? - logically, minimum wages must be higher, at the very least RM1,500 - RM2,000].

1,853 labour claims filed for failure to pay minimum wage: Ismail

KUALA LUMPUR: Up to Aug 31, a total of 1,853 claims had been submitted over the management's failure to pay the minimum wage. 

Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abu Muttalib said checks by the Manpower Department found that 549 cases had been tried at the Industrial Court while the rest were still being investigated.

"A total of 112,057 employers had implemented the minimum wage for their workers after the Minimum Wages Order 2016 came into force on July 1," he said at the Dewan Rakyat sitting, here, today.

He was replying to a question from Datuk Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid (PKR-Kuala Langat) on what action the government was taking against employers who refused to pay the minimum wage.

The Minimum Wages Order 2016 provides for a minimum monthly salary of RM1,000 in Peninsular Malaysia and RM920 in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, effective from July 1. — Bernama

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