Thursday, October 07, 2010

Worker rights are being eroded - should we not do something?

Job security was something that Malaysian government was very concerned about, and that is why there were only 2 basic kinds of employer-worker relationship. Most were on permanent direct employer-worker relationship where workers had the security of a job with an employer until retirement. 

The only ways this relationship was allowed to come to an end very specific. 
1) The worker resigns; 
2) The employer terminates because there was a misconduct and/or breach of the employment agreement - but there was a requirement for due inquity/domestic inquiry where the worker have a right to be heard and be represented, and thereafter apply to the Industrial Relations Department/Court, 
3) The employer sells the company - and workers are all terminated, and they receive Termination and Lay-Off Benefits, where the length of employment is a factor calculated when the worker receives benefits, 
4) The employer shuts down a line, etc - where the worker becomes redundant and here to the employer has the obligation to try the find the worker another job in the company first and if cannot the worker will be let off.

The other kind of relationship was 'contract for service' - and this is when you get someone come paint the fence, repair a broken pipe, install an air-con, etc..

Now, the Malaysian government is abandoning the workers - worker welfare, future, no more a concerned. Now, workers are (1) Fixed term contract workers - 9 mths, 1 year, etc - and if the worker is not 'docile'...'good' worker -the contract will not be renewed. (2) Companies were allowed to 'outsource' chunks of work - and these works were given to different companies, i.e. security, maintennce, internet/phone banking, etc... (3) Contractors of Labour - here the employer has an agreement with the contractor, and the contractor's workers come to work in the factory...and this workers are not the direct workers of the owners of factories/businesses...

Impact of these new trends of employment that is certainly against worker interest and welfare, and which have serious implications for a worker...

Are we all going to be silent about what is happening - or are we going to shout out against this new employment trends that the Malaysian government is allowing to the detriment of workers and their families, especially the poorer less skilled workers...

Now, they created a new class - part-time workers. Previously, even if I worked only 3 hours a day on every working day, I was still a permanent worker entitled to all the benefits as a worker in Malaysia. {Now, this new class of workers are deprived from some of the rights as a worker - eg. maternity leave..]

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