Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Malaysians believe that they are masters, and domestic workers their 'slaves'...

The inhumanity of Malaysians who employ domestic workers is shocking

They force these domestic workers to work long hours (longer than 8 hours per day...), sometimes even 24 hours - but there is no overtime. Sadly, many of these employers of domestic workers are workers themselves - and they would have protested strongly if they were forced to work such long hours. They would have demanded their overtime rates (1.5 times the normal rate).

We do not need the domestic worker all the time - and maybe, employers should assign the hours of work making sure that the total number of working hours do not exceed 8 hours per day (or 48 hours per week). If you require your domestic worker to work for longer hours - it will be just to get the worker's consent and also pay her 'overtime'..

One day off per week - this is already in the Immigration Department Agreenment Form for Domestic Workers - but alas, many domestic workers do not get their one day off per week.

Sadly, the government has also failed to come up with a clear law that provides clearly that domestic workers are entitled to one day off per week..

Remember, they are not slaves - you pay them a wage and they work for you. They are workers, and like any other worker, their rights must be respected...

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) wants the government to declare a compulsory weekly day off for domestic workers to enable them to go to the Labour Department in case they need to report any mistreatment.

Referring to the case of Indonesian maid Siti Hajar who calimed that she was abused by her employer for the past three years, MTUC secretary-general G. Rajasekaran said this measure must be taken due to the rising reports of abuse, torture and inhumane treatment among foreign domestic workers.

"Compelling domestic workers to work 16 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year is not illegal," he said, adding that this group of workers, numbering more than 300,000 throughout the country, were also not entitled to any legal protection.

"The only protection the workers have is that they can go to the Labour Department to complain about non-payment of monthly salaries, but without a weekly day off they are denied free movement," he said in a statement here Tuesday.

He urged the Human Resources Ministry not to turn a blind eye to these reports as thousands of foreign domestic workers in the country were made to endure beatings, poor living conditions, and suffer in silence.

Siti Hajar, 33, from west Java, who could no longer stand the abuses, fled from her employer's residence in Lanai Kiara Kondominium, Mount Kiara, yesterday.

She also claimed that she had not been paid any salary since the first month of her employment and the total salary due to her now stands at RM17,000.

The Indonesian ambassador here, Tan Sri Da'i Bactiar, told reporters yesterday that Siti Hajar was not only beaten but was only fed plain rice and occasionally with pork. - Bernama, 9/6/2009,
Compulsory Weekly Day Off For Domestic Workers

No comments: