Malaysia is one of Asia's biggest employers of foreign labour. But recently, cases of deaths, abuse and forced labour have come to light. What is going on? Who is protecting these migrant workers?
MTUC is disappointed with the finding/content of National Interest Analysis of Malaysian participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by Institute for Strategic and International Studies (ISIS).
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry commissioned Price Water House (PWC) and Institute for Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) to provide an independent cost-benefit analysis on the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).
The purpose of the cost benefit analysis is to provide a fair and independent perspective on the impact and implications of joining the 12 nation trade and investment pact. Specifically, the study identifies the potential benefits, risks, opportunities and the challenges in participating in the TPPA.
i) The TPPA impacts on workers and their trade unions in many ways. Specifically, prices of medicine, right to organize and form trade unions, the investor-state dispute settlement, job losses – impacts on workers well-being.
ii) The purpose of the press conference is to express the outrage and disappointment in the way workers and trade unions are evaluated in the context of the cost-benefit analysis.
iii) The ISIS report evaluates workers and trade union in the context of “public order and stability”.
iv) In fact, the ISIS report states that “the government is aware of the potentially disruptive threats of labour actions and is studying measures to mitigate it” (page 59)
v) In this context, MTUC is deeply disappointed by the ISIS categorization of our role and responsibility in the context of “public order and stability (page 58) and that government will under take measures to mitigate labour actions.
vi) Are workers a threat to public order or stability in the country? Why are workers perceived as enemies of the state? Specifically, why are notions of “law and order” being used to categorise workers?
vii) We propose that the role of workers and trade unions be analysed in the context of a development framework. This means that the right to organize and form trade unions will lead to a more equitable society, a trend that has to be reversed in the country. In fact, the 11MP clearly stipulates that the nation needs to close the gap between the bottom 40 percent and the top 10 percent.
The trade union movement and workers are perceived as partners of developments. Malaysia as a signatory to the various ILO declarations and, perceives labour as a crucial stake-holder in nation building. Furthermore, the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) is part of the tripartite arrangement together with the Ministry of Human Resources and Employers.
Clearly, the authors of the ISIS report have a poor understanding of workers and labour relations in the country and as a result have wrongly represented the positive labour contribution to the country.
Thus, Malaysian Trades Union Congress has every reason to question the integrity of the report and demands that MITI withdraws the present write up and rewrites the role of trade union in a developmental perspective.
MTUC will lodge a formal complaint with the ILO if the sections on labour is not rewritten with immediate effect.
Address: Wisma MTUC,10-5, Jalan USJ 9/5T, 47620 Subang Jaya,Selangor | Tel: 03-80242953 | Fax: 03-80243225 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org