Friday, July 31, 2015

Gerakan discloses impending closure of electronics company - 1,000 lose jobs?

Thanks to Gerakan's concern for workers, news of the closure of semiconductor factory was carried by mainstream New Straits Times. About 1,000 workers will lose their jobs... 

Yes - the government must step in and do the needful to assist these workers - the same level of assistance that is promised to and given to the terminated workers of MAS Bhd should also be present for all workers of private companies or public sector that gets laid off...

In Selangor, Rakyat Post reported that JVCKenwood had shut down (about 500 workers lost their jobs), and the report also stated that 'Ansell Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s operations have also ceased and its workers were retrenched yesterday. The Australian company made healthcare protective gear.' (how many workers in Ansell lost their jobs?) About 500 workers out of job during Ramadan as JVCKenwood factory closes?

Really - how many more workers have lost jobs due to factory closures?

Sadly, in Malaysia, there is still no temporary unemployment assistance for workers - which really would assist workers 'in between jobs'  


Malaysian workers want UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS just like Thailand?

If you lose your job, SOCSO pays you for 6 months maximum in Thailand

Government woos foreign investors to open factories so that workers in Malaysia will have employment and income. To do this, many forms of preferential treatment are offered these investors - tax holidays, special rate for basic amenities, good infrastructure are provided... but alas, too easily many of these multi-national companies(MNCs) and employers will pick up and move their factories elsewhere when they get a better deal. 

These MNCs  really must start caring more for the welfare and well-being of their workers - and not just close down or move because they can make better profits elsewhere...Workers are not commodities to be used and disposed - but must be seen as partners in business, and as human persons with family and dependents...

Governments, both Federal and State, need to re-strategize when it comes to ensuring its workers have continuous employment and income - a necessity for survival in modern Malaysia.

Security of employment must be of paramount importance - that means secure regular employment until retirement > not precarious forms of employment like short term contracts or allowing the usage of large number of workers from labour suppliers('contractors for labour') where these workers will end up in factories where they will not even be considered employees and are deprived the right to even join unions representing factory employees.

In some countries, short-term contract employment is discouraged. In fact for work involving the 'core business' of the employer, only regular employees are permitted. Short-term contract employment is limited to temporary work - or matters not considered part of the 'core business'. Maximum quota of 10% for non-regular employees at a workplace could be set.

Sadly, in Malaysia, the government seems to be more concerned about the wellbeing and profits of businesses - rather than the economic security, welfare and wellbeing of workers and their families. What is happening to the Malaysian Airlines employees may be good example of this kind of this attitude > the obvious concern seems to be saving the airline...not so much the welfare and wellbeing of workers and their families.

Since 1/1/2013, workers in Malaysia continue to be entitled to an extremely low minimum wage of RM900 - despite the fact that cost of living has most definitely increased quite a bit in the last 2 and a half years.. 

Malaysia has promoted workers to buy houses, etc - and today most workers do have large monthly financial obligations that have to be met settling house, car and other loans, over and above the necessary obligation to house and look after their families. A loss of employment and income puts workers in a great dilemma - if unassisted or unchecked could even lead to bankruptcy, etc....and greater suffering for the worker and their families.

Malaysia had a program that promotes affordable meals - which cost RM5 per meal per person, and if a person takes 3 meals, that would mean RM15 a day. And a worker will have spouse and children...well there will also be transport cost, rental, basic amenities, etc >>> surely, that makes a minimum wage of RM900 absurdly low... MTUC disappointed that after 2 years and 4 months, workers Minimum Wage rates still not increased

Sadly, many of our political parties are not too bothered about the plight of workers - and, as such this action of Gerakan stands out when it raises worker issues

Hope Gerakan would also raise more worker issues - and other politicians and political parties would also follow suit. MPs and ADUNs should also be out there preventing unemployment and assisting workers.

Penang Gerakan concerns over impending layoff of 1,000 workers when Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc closes 
By Audrey Dermawan - 30 July 2015 @ 11:00 PM 

GEORGE TOWN: Penang Gerakan is concerned with the laid back attitude of the Penang state government over the impending layoff of some 1,000 workers when Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc closes its manufacturing plant here in December. 

State Gerakan Youth committee member Teo Yin Horng said the state government should focus on helping the affected workers, find them alternative jobs, and other means to ease their financial burden.

“They should be serious and concerned with getting ready to face the consequential impact on the state’s economy and employment market opportunities,” he said.

It was reported earlier that the state government had said “the closure of the plant will not hamper the development of the semiconductor industry in Penang.” 

Teo said the issue needed immediate attention, not just on the general development of the semiconductor industry, but how the DAP-led state government was going to work with the federal government to help the workers. 

“Also, whether the closure will have a domino effect, prompting other manufacturers to move out of Penang. This is the crux of the problem.” 

Teh also pointed out that downstream industries, including the local suppliers and other related operators, would be affected. 

 Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc, Teo said, was among the first batch of eight multinational companies which set their foot in Penang in the 1970s. 

“For the past 50 years or more, they have provided bread-and-butter for the people of Penang ... one generation after another. Such a dedicated manufacturer.” 

Teo said during the reign of former chief minister Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, the people of Penang witnessed the mushrooming of factories in Penang. His successor, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, further expanded the industrial base by increasing the number of factories many-folds. 

“Today, we see a slump in the industry. The state government should take initiative to woo the foreign investors.” - New Straits Times, 30/7/2015

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