Monday, September 06, 2021

Union ask government to fund social protection for workers and ensure paid pandemic leave? Are Malaysian Unions weakened by poor leaders?

Trade Union can also be 'compromised' when the leadership forget their duties and responsibilities to workers.

Some leaders turn 'employer friendly' and thus do not lead in the fight for the defence, protection, advancement or promotion of worker rights...


Some leaders focus on representing workers in industrial/labour courts or during domestic inquiry - but the scary reality in some cases is that this services are not FREE - but workers are forced to pay 'fees' to the so-called worker leaders, and in the Industrial Court, this can range between RM5,000 to RM10,000 (or even more) for wrongful dismissal cases - and, worse is that monies paid by these dismissed workers goes into the personal pockets of these worker representatives. [The Malaysian Bar has passed a resolution that the Legal Aid is now available to provide advice/representation for workers - but alas, some 'unionist' do not want to spread this 'GOOD NEWS' to workers - maybe, because it will jeopardize their own source of earnings.]

The Malaysian Government, to date, has yet to extend LEGAL AID to workers - WHY? Is this not indicative, of an anti-worker government?

So many Covid-19 workplace clusters, but how many Unions have even issued a statement on this issue? Is this because Trade Unions simply have lost fate in government, or because Trade Union leaders simply do not care...

Note, that some UNIONS have thankfully came out with statements - but they are a very small minority...


- a 14-day annual paid medical leave is simply insufficient, as any worker infected by Covid will need to be away for 14 days or even more. [Are home quarantine for the infected even considered 'hospitalization']

- When a person has been identified as a CLOSE CONTACT,  he needs to be 'self-quarantined' for 14 days - NO PAID LEAVE for this situation in Malaysia's labour laws..

Anyway, a press release for the Philippine Trade Union... 


PH Congress urged to fund social protection for workers 

06 Sept 2021

As the Philippine Congress deliberates on the national budget for 2022, the Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines called on legislators to allocate funds for social protection programs such as P100 daily wage subsidy and paid pandemic leave which will primarily benefit workers in the formal sector. 

"Congress is currently tackling the proposed Php 5.024 trillion budget for  the year 2022. If approved this will be the biggest budget ever to be approved. Where will it go? While a big chunk should definitely go to the government's health response, we urge Congress to equally allocate a substantial budget for social protection programs that will benefit formal sector workers. Workers in the formal sector also bear the brunt of the impact of Covid 19 on our livelihoods," Julius Carandang, MWAP National Coordinator said. 

Workers hold Black Friday Protest of Mourning and Rage, calling on government to protect workers through speedy vaccination and economic support for those in quarantine and floating status. Read related news.

“If there is a will, there is a way. It should not be difficult for the government to allocate money for these programs. Particularly for the paid quarantine leaves of workers affected by the contact tracing, we are looking at around Php 27 billion and for those affected by floating, it can be as high as over Php 100 billion. It seems like a lot but the daily sacrifice of our economic frontliners is worth more than that. Not to mention the fact Congress is talking of several trillions of national budget,” Carandang said.   

The group added that these social protection schemes should be part of the government economic recovery plan. “Even before the pandemic, workers are already struggling to survive with high prices and meager wages. How do you think a minimum wage earner will recover from his debts if he is placed in no work no pay for 14 days of quarantine? How can she survive 60 days of floating with no pay at the same time that the labor market remains sluggish? Can we really expect our economy to recover if a substantial portion of our workers and their families live under these conditions?,” Carandang said. 

Alongside the calls for budget allocation, MWAP reiterated its call to legislators to fast-track the passage of paid pandemic leave bill and other proposals for social protection legislations. “As the pandemic situation continues to evolve due to new variants like Delta, more workers and their families become vulnerable to illness and loss of income. We hope Congress will tackle these matters with a sense of compassion and urgency,” Carandang ended.# 

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