LABOUR DAY MESSAGE: 1 MTUC and workers celebrate Labour Day this year with trepidation. Drastic increase in cost of living and low wages has seen a fall in standard of living.
2 Income disparity has widened and household debt has worsened alarmingly. A large proportion of our not very high income goes to debt repayment.
3 We call on all workers and their families to vote wisely in the 11th Sarawak State Election. MTUC is pro labour. We are not anti-business or any political party or the government. We want to work with the government and any political party to ensure that economic and development policies benefit Sarawakian workers as well. A high income nation must be for everybody.
4 It is very sad that wage levels have lagged behind inflation, have fallen behind productivity increases; there is an erosion of minimum labour standards, right to form trade unions is severely restricted, the income disparity is getting wider.
5 MTUC strongly believe that minimum wage (MW) and higher wages leads to higher economic growth and more business for companies. It will not just to offset cost of living increases, but also spur the drive to increase productivity.
6 Employers are continuing their campaign to get MW to remain at RM800, resorting to bullying tactics and fear mongering and emotional sensationalism. It is very regrettable that the government has delayed the MW review for 18 months while civil servants will get at least RM1200.
7 Do not VOTE for political parties and candidates that have not embraced this policy and agreed to defer the implementation.
8 Minimum wages will reduce the need for subsidies and handouts and will help to reduce Federal Government debt which is close to $542 billion or 54.1% of GDP, almost breaching the 55% threshold.
MORE LIBERAL TRADE UNION LAWS
9 With the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) we hope to see the modernization of labour laws that offer greater protection to workers and their unions.
10 State Government linked companies continue to ignore trade union rights and dismiss union officials for carrying out their duties in trying to improve working conditions for rubbish collectors and employees.
11 State Government linked oil palm companies retrench employees without any notice.
12 MTUC do not want our jobs to be diminished and given to so many foreign workers. Tens of thousands of Sarawakians have to leave their families to work in Singapore, Johore, KL and Penang. Is this what development has brought to Sarawak? – Just thousands and thousands of foreign workers?
13 What is the point of using up so much land for timber and oil palm when 78% of workers in oil palm plantations and 80% of timber workers are foreigners?
14 It also compromises food security as most land are taken up for plantation and divert investment for other sectors such as tourism. It has created environmental and land issues, not to mention the yearly haze.
15 We need to accelerate the state economic growth by restructuring our economy by focusing on creating high income opportunities in new economic areas rather than paying attention to marginal improvements in traditional sectors such as producing raw materials in the agricultural industry
16 MTUC also wants to eliminate corruption and corrupt practices in all its forms and at all levels. This is the only way to ensure that government policies are implemented in a transparent and fair manner. Political leaders must display highest standards of morals, integrity and transparency. Donations must be declared.
INFLATION & COST OF LIVING PRICES
17 Price increases are exorbitant due in part to GST. Houses have become out of reach for most people. Businesses have flourished at the expense of consumers.
DEVELOPMENT & HANDOUTS
18 It is sad that more than 4.2 million Malaysians live in households that earn less than RM3000 a month and qualify for the RM100 handout. Something must be wrong with the economic policy, that, after 50 years of Independence and the same government, we still need such handouts.
19 Development and basic amenities are the right of every citizen. It must not be used to hold our votes to ransom. It is sad that after more than 50 years, politicians are still promising basic development.
20 We expect better. We deserve better.
EVERY VOTE IS IMPORTANT
21 MTUC strongly urges workers in Sarawak to vote for the political party and candidates who are willing to put the interest of workers and their families first.
22 Our votes must not go to those who turn a blind eye to corruption, bribery and unaccounted for donations.
23 We must elect effective, performing and clean representatives and ministers that really care about the country and are ready to implement long term and sustainable social and economic policies. We do not need them to clean our drains, resurface our roads or repair a bridge. The civil servants are paid by taxpayers to do all these.
24 We want to ensure that every SARAWAKIAN has a meaningful share in our state’s vast resources. We owe it to our children to ensure that there is a fair share of the vast wealth of Sarawak.
25 We, the workers and voters, cannot be shortchanged anymore.
-The Ant Daily