(From left) Saripuddin, Ismail, Riot and others show their solidarity with members of trade unions.
KUCHING: Minister of Human Resources Datuk Seri Richard Riot says it is very important to have a healthy workforce and make it their priority in life.
“By being healthy the workers can increase their productivity and provide quality work which can contribute to the economic progress of the country.
“The ever volatile work environment these days need workers to be mentally and physically strong. If workers are not healthy they can be more stressful in executing their jobs and this is not good for the organisations that employ them,” he said before officiating at the opening of a trade union convention here, yesterday.
He therefore urged the workers to create their own exercise routines and take proper care of their diets in order to maintain a good health.
“They must be ready to face competition and also strong enough to face any resistance in their job especially in this era of globalisation,” he added.
On trade unions, Riot said there were always a need for them to have good industrial relations, knowledge and harmony among the workers.
“A conducive work environment needs strong cooperation and good understanding between trade unions and employers, which include the welfare of workers, management and performance of companies, “ he said.
Riot said that having good industrial relations would hasten this country to gain a developed nation status and a high income economy by 2020.
He urged trade union leaders to play their roles well to increase the marketability of the workers and to support the government’s effort to enhance the workers’ competency based on their knowledge, skill and expertise in their chosen fields.
He also wanted trade unions to be the driving force in increasing a workforce that is educated, knowledgeable and flexible.
More than 500 members of various trade unions here attended the one-day convention held in conjunction with Labour Day today.
The theme of the convention was ‘Memperkasa Peranan Dan Hala Tuju Kesatuan Sekerja Seiring Aspirasi Negara’ (strengthening the roles and directions of trade unions along with the country’s aspiration).
The convention also saw the presence of Deputy Minister of Human Resource Datuk Seri Ismail Abdul Mutalib, its secretary-general Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim, deputy secretary-general (policy) Mohd Sahar Darusman, deputy secretary-general (operations) Dato Romli Hassan, director-general of Trade Unions Department of Trade Union Affairs Mustafa Ali, Malaysia Employee Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda and Malaysian Trade Union Congress president Mohd Khalid Atan.