Tuesday, 30 April 2013

May Day Message

In conjunction with May Day we, Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor, urge the political parties contesting the 13th General Election to pledge their support and prioritise the demands of workers throughout Malaysia. Workers form the backbone of this country's wealth. Yet all the election manifestos with the exception of PSM, do not show an understanding of the challenges workers are facing not only because of the global economic downturn but also because of the commitment to neo-liberal agenda by most governments, including the government of Malaysia.
'Workers determine the future'. May Day celebration in 2012.

 We wish to remind the next government that the  workers of this country want mechanisms put in   place that would
·         *   protect jobs,
·         *   provide decent work and
·          *  pay living wages for women and men who work.

We reject the notion that contract workers, domestic workers, home-based workers, migrant workers and all workers in the informal economy can work without protection from the labour laws including the right to form and join trade unions. Any reason to make workers work long hours so that their families’ basic needs be met, should be put to an end.firesteel

Union rights
May Day is celebrated so that workers can earn enough for their basic needs by 8 hours of work. Denying this in practice and giving a holiday on May Day is meaningless. Workers cannot go on sacrificing their rights to decent livelihoods to subsidise the economy. Workers cannot go on and allow owners to rob them of their wages. 

There must be change in workers' situation in addition to changes that the parties are talking about in their manifestos. We wish to reiterate that we will push the next government to give us our rights. We submit to you once again the Manifesto Pekerja that is attached.

Jaringan Pekerja* Demands

1.  Implement Minimum wage of RM1,500 per month: Minimum wage be clearly defined and implemented. Also Wage Council's meetings be made transparent.

2. Workers' rights be respected: Amendments should be made to the Employment Act 1955 and Industrial Relations Act 1967 that support workers' rights such as freedom to form unions, non-interference of the Registrar of Trade unions in union affairs.

2.1 Welfare of women workers: Maternity leave of 14 weeks be made compulsory. The working premises must have areas for breast feeding. Child care centres made compulsory and paid for by employers.

 2.2 Stop Free Trade Agreements negotiations: These negotiations between first world countries and Malaysia are not transparent. The agreement ignores  workers’ rights are and has a detrimental effect to the local economy. 

3.   Social Security Protection: Implement a pension scheme for private sector workers. To implement a minimum 5 day or 40 hours per week work period for a healthy life style. Also a Workers Dismissal Benefit fund be implemented for dismissed workers' to cope with the loss of income.
Workers are the power for change

     4.  Health and Safety of workers: SOCSO should cover workers outside working hours and the process of claims should be simplified. The scheme should cover spouses and their children.

     5.  Dignified living standards: Stop the privatisation of hospitals, water and electricity which affects the workers living standards. Stop the direct and indirect taxes on food, transport and housing where escalating prices affect a dignified way of living.

*Alliance of several unions and NGOs.

1 comment: