KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 (Bernama) — The ASEAN Services Employees Trade Union Council (ASETUC) will draw up a framework in March to protect trade unions and the welfare of employees.
The proposed framework will be handed over to the government prior to the implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
ASETUC General-Secretary Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal said the proposal would cover guidelines, that trade unions should adopt, and issues such as cross-border trade union membership, should the government sign the TPPA.
“It is important for us to discuss, get the right interpretation of the TPPA, especially if there’s a dispute among workers and employers,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a workshop here today on “Workers Perspective On TPPA and Asean Economic Community 2015”.
He said the high standard of English used in the TPPA document caused concern and ambiguities among workers and trade unions.
“A framework needs to be established so that we can work within that framework and if there’s dispute, we can refer to a third party or tribunal,” he added.
TPPA is expected to cover about 40 per cent of the world’s economy and create a market of 800 million people with a combined Gross Development Product of US$27.5 trillion (US$1=RM4.29).
Asked on the country’s minimum wage, Mohamed Shafie said it should be increased to RM1,500 instead of the present RM1,000 due to the high cost of living.
“Given the fact that toll fares have increased, petrol prices have increased, I personally think that RM1,500 is more suitable with the current economic situation,” he said, adding that the minimum wage in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia should be standardised.