Sunday, March 31, 2013

M'sia must keep to its word on minimum wage - Senator Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud

M'sia must keep to its word on minimum wage

  • Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud
  • 7:14PM Mar 27, 2013
All workers in Malaysia must be entitled to receive minimum wages, and a delay of this right to migrant workers as stated in the media report entitled 'SMEs may defer minimum wages for foreign workers until Dec 31' (New Straits Times, March 20, 2013) is unacceptable.

The said report referred to a statement from the National Wages Consultative Council.

The pronouncement certainly goes against the spirit of the Section 60 (L) of Employment Act, 1955 that is clearly against any form of discrimination amongst workers, based on whether one is a local worker or a migrant worker.

It also goes against the core principle of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that is against any form of discrimination in respect of employment, and Article 23 (2) of the UN Declaration of Human Rights that clearly states that "Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work."

The Malaysian government's earlier declared position was that all workers, including migrant workers (foreign workers) were entitled to minimum wages was correct, but now if this right be delayed, it will be wrong, unjust and discriminatory.

When the Malaysian government decided to transfer the obligation of paying levy from employers to migrant workers, it reversed the policy behind the very introduction of levy, which was to deter employers hiring foreigners rather than local workers, and protect employment opportunities of the local worker.

The move to now allow employers who pay migrant workers minimum wages to again deduct wages to recover the levy was strongly criticised by many quarters.

Eighty-two groups including the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) were involved in a statement ‘Minimum wages for all workers, including migrant workers - no to wage deduction to recover levy payable by employers' - issued also by me on Feb 5, 2013.

It defeats the very intention of introducing minimum wages, if employers are allowed to remove pre-existing benefits or make new wage deductions.

Vide Minimum Wages Order 2012 dated July 16, 2012, the Malaysian government promised Malaysian workers minimum wages in January 2013, save for workers with employers with five or less workers who were to receive minimum wages by July 2013.

Then, on Dec 28, 2012, vide Minimum Wages (Amendment) Order 2012, promises to workers were broken when over 600 listed employers were permitted to pay their workers minimum wages at a later date, being April, July or even October 2013.

The latest breach of promise is when employers, categorised as Small Medium Enterprises(SME) were allowed to delay payment of minimum wages to their migrant workers until December 2013.

There really is no justification for allowing medium enterprises that is defined as businesses having a ‘sales turnover between RM10 million and RM25 million or full time employees between 51 and 150', that also falls within the definition of SMEs any delay in paying their workers, including migrant workers, minimum wages as of January 2013.

Further, it must be pointed out that there is still no order issued by the minister that has been gazetted, and as such these SMEs still have to pay all their workers, including migrant workers minimum wages from January unless they are employers given special exemption vide the Dec 28 order, or they are employers with five or less employees.

If workers were already entitled to receive minimum wages in January 2013, it would be wrong to try and extinguish that right by some later gazetted order.

Even if there be such an order, which would be blatantly unjust, employers must still pay the minimum wages from January 2013 until such an order comes into being.

In the New Straits Times report, the National Wages Consultative Council (NWCC) was reported saying that employers ‘...would be given blanket approval for deductions of levy and cost of accommodation...', which are matters that are not only beyond the mandate of the NWCC but are also settled by law.

Permissible wage deductions are explicitly stated, and as an example, for deductions like cost of accommodation, the legal requirement is that there must be a request in writing by the individual employee, and thereafter a special permission of the director general of human resources.

If the worker disagrees or do not make such a request, there can be no such wage deduction.

After a migrant worker has agreed to come to Malaysia and work usually for about five years, and/or is already here working here, it is very wrong and unjust to suddenly impose additional and new liabilities on the migrant worker especially when it affects income.

Any new liabilities should be imposed only on migrant workers yet to have agreed to come to work in Malaysia.

I call on the Malaysian government, whose 2012 Merdeka Day slogan was ‘Janji DiTepati' (Promises Kept) to adhere to its promises made to all workers, including migrant workers in Malaysia and ensure that the promised minimum wages are received at the time as promised on 16th July 2012.

Malaysians believe in justice and equality, and there should be no discrimination of workers by the government.

All workers, including migrant workers must be treated equally especially when it comes to wages - including minimum wages.

SYED SHAHIR SYED MOHAMUD is a senator, immediate past president of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) and adviser to the National Union of Transport Equipment and Allied Industries Workers.

- Malaysiakini, 27/3/2013,M'sia must keep to its word on minimum wage

* This was a Media Statement that was issued on 26/3/2013 - and as usual, we see that mainstream media seem to have just refused to carry this important statement

National Wages Council has NO power to allow employers delay paying migrant workers minimum wages...

National Wages Consultative Council have got no power (and/or authority) to delay migrant workers right to receive Minimum Wages... Let us look at the NATIONAL WAGES CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL ACT 2011 (Act 732) - NWCC is to consult, analyze...make recommendations and give advice to the government... (see section 4 of the Act)

Yes, the NWCC makes recommendations - and then the power lies with the Government through Minister(Minister of Human Resources) who can agree with the recommendations... or NOT. The government can also not listen at all to the NWCC and come up with their own decision.

Section 22 Council To Make Recomendations 

 (1) Based on the actions taken under section 21, the Council shall, at such time as the Minister may determine, make a recommendation to the Government through the Minister on the following matters:
(a) the minimum wages rates;
(b) the coverage of the recommended minimum wages rates according to sectors, types of employment and regional areas;
(c) the non-application of the recommended minimum wages rates and coverage to any sectors, types of employment and regional areas or to any person or class of persons;
(d) the commencement of the minimum wages order and the different dates for the commencement of the minimum wages order to different sectors, types of employment and regional areas, or to different persons or class of persons; and
(e) other matters relating to the minimum wages, including the implementation of the recommended minimum wages rates and coverage.
(2) The Government may, after considering the recommendation-
(a) agree with the recommendation; or
(b) direct the Council to review the recommendation within the period as the Government may determine and make a fresh recommendation.
(3) Where the Government directs the Council to review the recommendation and make a fresh recommendation under paragraph (2)(b), section 21 and subsection (1) shall apply.
(4) The Government may, after considering the fresh recommendation made pursuant to subsection (3)-
(a) agree with the fresh recommendation; or
(b) disagree with the fresh recommendation and determine the matters specified in paragraphs (1)(a) to (e).

After, this there must be an ORDER ...

Section 23 - Minimum Wages Order

(1) Where the Government agrees with the recommendation of the Council under paragraph 22(2)(a) or 22(4)(a) or determines the matters under paragraph 22(4)(b), the Minister shall, by notification in the Gazette, make a minimum wages order on the matters specified in paragraphs 22(1)(a) to (e) as agreed to or determined by the Government.
(2) The Minister may, upon the direction of the Government, by notification in the Gazette, amend or revoke the minimum wages order.

Section 24 - Effect of a Minimum Wages Order

(1) For the purpose of this section, "contract of service" includes the collective agreement made under section 14 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 [Act 177].
(2) Where the rates of the basic wages agreed in a contract of service is lower than the minimum wages rates as specified in the minimum wages order, the rates shall be substituted with any rates not lower than the minimum wages rates as specified in the minimum wages order.
(3) Where the rates of the basic wages agreed in a contract of service is higher than the minimum wages rates as specified in the minimum wages order, the rates shall not be reduced to any rates lower than the rates of the basic wages agreed in the contract of service.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing an employer and an employee from agreeing to any rates of the basic wages which are higher than the minimum wages rates as specified in the minimum wages order.

I went and visited the Ministry of Human Resources website - and discovered that there is NO new Minimum Wages Order.

The last document there was a Media Statement of Wages Consultative Council (Kenyataan Akhbar Urus Setia Majlis Perundingan Gaji Negara)
This got me thinking. What is a government advisory - make recommendation body doing by issuing such statements - which is confusing everybody including employers and workers.. They have no business making such a statement...[That media statement was dated 20/2/2013 - and I believe that they even got the date wrong for I believe that it should possibly be 20/3/2013 considering when the media reports came out.]

This is not the first time that they have confused matters, the last time they came out with Guidelines On The Implementation Of The Minimum Wages Order 2012 which again caused confusion. Remember, that when we talk about minimum wage - we are talking about basic wage, not including overtime, other allowances and remuneration benefits. We shall not go into this for the moment.

Now, if employers who were required to pay minimum wages in January 2013 did not do this, the committed an OFFENCE. All employers with more than 5 employees, unless they were given more time vide Minimum Wages (Amendment) Order 2012 dated 28/12/2013 which was very clear which employer was given the right to delay payment of minimum wages in January 2013. The names of the employers are there...

What is the penalty for not paying Minimum Wages...

Section 43 Offence

An employer who fails to pay the basic wages as specified in the minimum wages order to his employees commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of not more than ten thousand ringgit for each employee.

Not a good penalty at all - it could even be RM1 per employee, supporting the perception that this government is pro-employer and anti-worker. It would have been better, if a minimum fine per employee was also stipulated - i.e. maybe RM1,000 per employee...

So, we know that there are employers that have committed the offence, and what we would all like to know is how many employers have been charged with this offence? The offence has already been committed - hopefully this government do not give them some sort of 'amnesty' and do not even prosecute and convict them for their offence...Hopefully not

After the first Minimum Wages Order 2012 dated 16/7/2013, employers had the opportunity to go appeal - and many did and in 28/12/2013, we saw that many were given a DELAY as to when they will start paying their workers Minimum Wage. Workers were cheated... and promise was broken at the very last minute when they already were expecting Minimum Wages in January 2013? 

Did our Prime Minister apologize to the workers affected? I did not see any such apology from the government... In fact, all expressed concern seem to be about the 'predicament' of employers - not at all the continued suffering of workers being paid wages so low... in an environment where cost of living has certainly gone up, many of which was caused directly or indirectly by this government.

Finally fixing a minimum wage for workers in Malaysia was GOOD and JUST, and for that the government need to be applauded despite the fact that it took so many years after the government became aware of the fact in 2009 that millions of workers were receiving very low wages - below the poverty line income.

My answer would be NO - as it goes against even our Federal Constitution. Until the Federal Constitution is amended, you cannot discriminate against a worker - just because he/she is not a Malaysian Citizen. Section 60L of Employment Act 1955 is also clear about this. No discrimination by employers on the grounds that the worker is a foreigner...
Source: Charles Hector Blog

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Minimum Wage Policy To Benefit 27 Per Cent Of Workers Across Malaysia

BNM: Minimum Wage Policy To Benefit 27 Per Cent Of Workers Across Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 (Bernama) -- Some 27 per cent of workers across Malaysia will benefit from the minimum wage policy, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said.

The central bank said the affected workers in Peninsular Malaysia were expected to receive a 33 per cent increase in wages, while those in Sabah and Sarawak would be given a 38 per cent increment.

"By economic sector, the agriculture industry is expected to be the most affected, as 43 per cent of workers in the sector received wages that were below the minimum wage prior to the implementation of the policy," BNM said in its 2012 Annual Report released Wednesday.

BNM said the minimum wage policy was envisaged to have an important role in addressing inefficiencies in the labour market and in improving the social welfare of low-paid workers.

It said by setting a minimum level for wages, it would alleviate labour market distortions and maximise the efficiency of labour usage in the economy.

The central bank said the increase in the incomes of low-wage workers to levels that would fulfill their basic needs, would improve their economic welfare by raising their standards of living.

Consistent with the Government's objective of transforming Malaysia into a high-income and high-productivity economy, the minimum wage policy provided incentives to both firms and workers to undertake productivity-enhancing measures, it added.

"In the short run, the minimum wage policy may subject firms to higher costs, especially those that have been highly dependent on low-wage workers," BNM said.

However, it said over the medium to long term, the minimum wage policy was expected to have a positive impact on the Malaysian economy and the short-term costs and risks of the minimum wage policy on in?ation were expected to be well-contained.

The minimum wage policy was envisaged to be a positive step towards encouraging a fairer wage structure, and in contributing towards the promotion of higher value-added economic activities and higher-skilled jobs, it added.


3 years plus and still no recognition of union by RENESAS

On 14/3/2013, Electronic Industry Employees Union Western Region, Peninsular Malaysia (EIEUWR)/ Kesatuan Sekerja Industri Elektronik Wilayah Barat Semenjung  Malaysia(KSIEWBSM) and the workers of RENESAS again had a protest picket at the Ministry of Human Resources at Putrajaya. 

These workers have been struggling to get their UNION recognized by  RENESAS Semiconductor KL Sdn Bhd (formerly known as NEC Semiconductors (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd], whereby in Malaysia, only after recognition, will the UNION be able to effectively enter into negotiations and a Collective Agreement with RENESAS on behalf of the workers of RENESAS. 

All employers need to is to accord recognition to the UNION when it submits an application to the employer for recognition - BUT alas, many companies just do not want Unions, and they do not accord recognition - and even worse come up with all kinds of objections, even court cases, even termination of union leader/s. 

When the employer does not accord recognition, then the government in the form of Director General of Industrial Relations steps in, and the process towards conducting a 'secret ballot'  among qualified employees of the said employer starts. For this process, the employer also needs to do certain things, like the submission of FORM B  - but alas, despite repeated request, RENESAS has yet to submit Form B - and things are just not moving 

These workers have been trying to get recognition of their UNION, EIEUWR/KSIEWBSM since January 2010 - and it has been more than THREE(3) years...

Wan Noorulazhar, the President of the Union, was also wrongfully dismissed by RENESAS in August 2011, but he still leads the workers in their struggle for recognition. His wrongful dismissal trial is yet to start in the Industrial Court

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Wny no action against employers that do not pay minimum wages, as per law?

Suaram questions inaction against errant employers
1:38PM Mar 18, 2013

Suaram has questioned why no action is being taken against employers for not abiding by the government's minimum wage requirement, but instead against Nepali workers who had intended to hold a demonstration over the matter.

protest at nilai negeri sembilanThe human rights group said there was nothing to be proud off in regards to police’s action yesterday.

R Thevarajan, of Suaram's Police, Accountability and Reform desk, claimed that police do not understand the real issue behind the proposed peaceful protest.

He claimed, in a statement today, that the workers had no choice but to show their displeasure by organising a peaceful demonstration.

What is strange, he added, is that the workers were arrested even before the actual protest took place.

“What is their offence and what is the charge against them?” he asked in the statement.

“Why should the foreign workers be arrested and why are the employers, who failed to abide by this (minimum wage) requirement, not brought to justice?”

He went on to call for the Human Resources Ministry to respond to yesterday’s detention.
He said it was not enough to merely state that implementation of the minimum wage policy, which came into effect on Jan 1, could be deferred to a later date.
Right to assemble

Thevarajan said the authorities should respect Article 10 of the federal constitution over the right of citizens to assemble peacefully and urged those picked-up by police to be released.

Police, he said, should understand the bread-and-butter issues affecting workers, regardless if they are locals or foreigners, as their rights are being exploited by the employers.

Earlier, Bernama reported that Muar police had foiled an attempt by 5,000 foreign workers from Nepal to hold a demonstration at the town centre at noon, yesterday.

They had wished to protest against their employers for allegedly failing to pay salaries according to the minimum salary scheme as decided by the government.

It was reported that based on a tip off, police moved in to prevent the group from gathering in front of a supermarket in Jalan Ali, Muar.

Muar police chief ACP Mohd Nasir Ramli had said 106 people, including the alleged masterminds, were detained for further investigations until 1pm, after which they were released.

Last week, Muar police arrested 32 Nepalese workers for creating a riot at a furniture factory as they were unhappy that their salaries had not been paid according to the minimum salary scheme.- Bernama - Malaysiakini, 18/3/2013,
Suaram questions inaction against errant employers

500 workers in a Nilai Textile Factory protest non-payment of minimum wages

Migrant workers from textile factory protest since Friday because employer not paying them minimum wages

According to the Malaysiakini report, about 500 migrant workers(from Bangladesh, Vietnam, Nepal and...) from a textile factory in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan have been protesting from last Friday because their employer (based on the placard held by worker at the protest in the picture reads '...MAJIKAN RECRON...'[EMPLOYER RECRON]). The problem is that many employers in Malaysia today do avoid employment relationship with their workers. Instead of employing workers making them employees - they just get workers supplied by 'contractors for labour'(labour/manpower supply companies) - so all we can say for now is that these are workers in the said factory - possibly Recron.
Their demands is that their employer has failed to pay them minimum wages, as required by Malaysian law since January 2013.  
CWI Malaysia (Committee for Workers International) have informed me that the affected workers number about 4,000, and they will be initiating an Urgent Appeal soonest, and I was informed that news about this protest was also carried in the New Socialist Alternative website 
"For the past 6 days, more than 4000 migrant workers of Recron Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. ( largest integrated polyester and textile company in the world) are on an indefinite strike demanding a pay rise that would match the newly government introduced minimum wage." - New Socialist Alternative website 
* Note that we cannot confirm the numbers of workers involved, but from a local news report, it stated more that about 500 migrant workers from factory in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan were involved on a protest on 13/3/2013 - sadly local media avoids naming the employer company - possibly for fear of legal repercussion or maybe they are instructed to do so. Who is the employer of the factory also becomes vague in Malaysia since 2005 - when now Malaysian government allows factories to USE workers supplied by 'contractors for labour'(labour outsourcing companies/agents). For, all intents and purposes, the supplied workers work the same as directly employed workers, and their work is under the direct supervision of the factory - but the employer may not the factory they work in. Either way, whether they are employees or merely supplied workers, the factory must be responsible for the workers rights and welfare. 

* A perusal of Recron Malaysia website, shows that they are a member of the RELIANCE GROUP, and do indeed have a Nilai General Plant, at P.T. 1886, 1891. 1892, 7927, 7928, Kawasan Perindustrian Nilai, 71800 Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia (Tel: 6 06 799 2855, Fax: 606 799 2872 - no email provided), and also note that the picture of the protesters show one holding it with the words "...Majikan Recron Jangan Aniyai...'(...Employer Recron Do Not Exploit...)

Buruh asing mogok kerja demi gaji minimum

Seramai kira-kira 500 orang pekerja asing dari sebuah kilang di Nilai, Negeri Sembilan mengadakan mogok dengan tidak bekerja bermula Jumaat lalu kerana menuntut gaji minimum sebanyak RM900.

Aktivis Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT) Negeri Sembilan, P Nithiyavani berkata pekerja yang kebanyakannya dari Bangladesh, Vietnam dan Nepal itu mengadakan mogok bagi mendesak kilang tempat mereka bekerja membayar gaji minimum seperti yang diumumkan perdana menteri sebelum ini.

protest at nilai negeri sembilanMenurutnya lagi, selain mogok, pekerja itu turut mengadakan piket secara aman semalam di hadapan asrama kediaman mereka yang turut dihadiri Setiausaha Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) S Arutchelvan.

"Syarikat itu merupakan syarikat milik jutawan yang didakwa mendapat keuntungan sehinga $AS1 bilion. Mereka (pekerja) yang kebanyakan pekerja asing cuma mahukan gaji minimum RM900 dibayar. Tetapi syarikat itu dari bulan Januari masih tidak memberi gaji minimum.

"Pekerja bekerja 30 hari tanpa cuti dan dibayar dengan RM500 hingga RM700 sebulan. Bila tanya pada pihak pengurusan mengapa tak bayar, mereka tak bagi jawapan.

"Sebab itu pekerja itu mogok tak nak pergi kerja dan kita membuat piket semalam untuk tuntut jawapan. Tapi semalam pihak jabatan buruh kilang itu masih tak beri kata putus," katanya ketika dihubungi Malaysiakini.

Dakwa diugut tangkap

Selain itu, Nithiviyani berkata, pihaknya hari ini turut membuat laporan polis di Ibu Pejabat Polis Daerah (IPD) Nilai kerana ada dakwaan daripada pekerja asing dari Vietnam mengatakan beliau diugut akan ditangkap oleh pihak polis sekiranya tidak datang bekerja.

Katanya, pekerja itu turut mendakwa ugutan itu dilakukan oleh majikannya yang turut diiringi anggota polis ke asrama kediaman pekerja malam semalam.

protest at nilai negeri sembilan"Kita baru lepas buat laporan polis berhubung dakwaan pekerja itu diugut untuk ditangkap sekiranya teruskan mogok. Ada pekerja yang dah takut dan mula pergi kerja.

"Ini adalah penyalahgunaan kuasa oleh majikan dan polis," katanya.

Beliau turut berkata, pihaknya kini sedang merancang untuk mengadakan beberapa tindakan susulan serta akan meneruskan mogok tersebut.

"Kita akan buat tindakan selanjutnya. Tetapi kita akan tunggu seorang jurubahasa kerana kami susah nak berkomunikasi dengan mereka. Mereka tak pandai bahasa Melayu dan kita pun tak pandai bahasa mereka.

"Kita akan tetap teruskan mogok ini sehingga mendapat kata putus daripada majikan itu untuk membayar gaji minimum," katanya lagi.- Malaysiakini, 13/3/2013,
Buruh asing mogok kerja demi gaji minimum

700 Migrant Worker protest in Muar on minimum wages - Why is the Labour Department not acting?

700 Migrant Worker protest in Muar on minimum wages - Why is the Labour Department not acting?

When worker rights are violated, the government and most media is not bothered or interested to report. Even, when the workers protest or picket - whereby one of the intention of such actions is to highlight the workers plight, get public (and government) attention - Rightfully, the Labour Department(Human Resource Department) should have immediately rushed over to investigate and resolve the issue. Here, the complaint was allegedly that the workers did not get their minimum wages or was related to the implementation of the minimum wage, which by law, they were entitled to receive as of January 2013.
In Muar, it is reported in the Sinar Harian(the report was in Malay), that workers' protest started on 7/3/2013 involving about 700 workers, many being migrant workers. [See 700 ratus pekerja protes isu gaji minima - hari ke-4 keadaan menjadi kecoh - MTUC kena segera bertindak..]
The protest apparently continued on 8/3/2013. 9/3/2013 and 10/3/2013. On 10/3/2013, a small group of about 20 workers allegedly entered and brought out the production manager. Allegedly, 3 supervisors tried to get the manager back - and some little violence allegedly happened. "..The incident reportedly left the unnamed production manager and three supervisors with light injuries and bruises...."The police were reportedly called in to assist, but the workers had already dispersed by the time they arrived.

BUT...let us look at how the media reported this, especially the headline, ...Sinar Harian's headline reads, : 150 pekerja mengganas [150 workers terrorizes], and Malaysiakini's headline read 'Strike by foreign workers turn violent', and I would consider these biased against workers - Let us not forget WHY the workers started protesting - it was because of what they alleged their employer did. Maybe, the media must be more careful in the future and ensure their titling is fair to all... Why do the media not report the name of the company in their reports? I wonder

Reported were that the police came but where was the officers from the Labour Department(Human Resources Department) from the Ministry of Human Resources? Was this not a labour issue issue of minimum wage? The absence of the Labour Department is indicative of the failure of the current government - there seem to an apparent disregard to workers' plight and issues, a disinterest in ensuring that employers do not violate the law and worker rights, and here a lack of concern about 'Industrial Harmony' - when the main players in resolving the matter should have been the Labour Department officials... 
Now, we know that the police are investigating, what is the Labour Department doing? If the workers action was caused by the employer's disregard of the law and worker rights - that eventually forced workers to the street - who really is to be blamed if things turned bad. It is the government(i.e. the Labour Department not the police) that should have rushed to resolve the issue...The problem today is even if information is given to the Labour Department, some officers just do not act...and in some cases,  even when the Labour officer goes to the factory to investigate - some employers hinder the investigation by not allowing the Officer meet and talk with effected workers...etc - and the current law is so weak, for this kind of breaches of law, the sentence imposed against employers is a mere fine (a small fine) and this in fact encourages bad employers to just continue breaking the law... How many employers are being taken to task (i.e. Charged in Court) for not following the law on Minimum Wages
What does this BN government expect workers to do when employers break the law, and the government does nothing ...or acts too slow...many a times not even prosecuting but just giving employers another chance...'go do not do it again...OR never mind, we will give you an extension so that you do not have to pay workers minimum wages now.... ' . It is this reality that forces workers to protest...picket...strike or even get violent - WHY? Because many workers' perspective is that the law and avenues of justice is too slow, inaccessible, biased in favour of employers, etc 

HOW MANY EMPLOYERS ARE FACING LEGAL ACTION BY REASON OF NOT PAYING MINIMUM WAGES IN JANUARY 2013? Tell us...assure us the people that the Government is seriously taking action against such employers...and will ensure all workers entitled to receive minimum wages as of January 2013 will receive them or what is owing immediately... I have yet to see the Minister come out with any such assurance...have you?

Strike by foreign workers turns violent
1:57PM Mar 10, 2013  
A strike involving 150 foreign workers at a factory in Muar reportedly turned violent when a group of them stormed the manager's office last Friday.

Malay-language daily Sinar Harian reported today that the 3pm incident was believed to be caused the workers' dissatisfaction at the management for delaying the implementation of the minimum wage laws, which came into force in January.

The incident reportedly left the unnamed production manager and three supervisors with light injuries and bruises. The victims were described to be in their 30's.

The daily also quoted the factory's management saying that it hopes to resolve the matter internally, while Muar district police chief Mohamad Nasir Ramli reportedly said the incident would be investigated under Section 147 of the Penal Code for rioting.
Workers refuse to work 
The strike reportedly started on the day before, where some 700 workers refused to work at the factory in Parit Jalan Industrial Zone. There were no untoward incidents that day.

However, a group of about 20 people reportedly stormed the management office and started dragging the production manager, according to an eyewitness identified only as ‘Ahmad'.

Three supervisors tried to intervene but were punched and kicked.

"The situation got worse some of them threw stones and shattered many windows. The management tried to dissuade them from continuing to assault the manager, but were unsuccessful.

"Instead, things got even tenser," Ahmad reportedly said.

The police were reportedly called in to assist, but the workers had already dispersed by the time they arrived. - Malaysiakini, 10/3/2013, Strike by foreign workers turns violent

Police arrest 106 migrant workers to allegedly thwart possible protest by 5,000 workers in Muar

Police arrest 106 migrant workers to allegedly thwart possible protest by 5,000 workers in Muar

Rights are being violated when employers are not paying their workers minimum wages, whereby the law states that this must be paid as of January 2013. A second order came out in late December 2012 listing employers who were freed from paying the workers minimum wages in Januaru 2013 - they were required to only pay minimum wages in several months time...some in April 2013..some even later still. Thus, those not in the lease have to pay minimum wages...
And when they do not - and workers are angry, the question is where is the government (the Labour Department and the Ministry of Human Resources) - why are they not acting against such employers - meeting with aggrieved workers eensuring them that they will be paid soonest ...and the delay means what they are entitled as of January 2013 will come maybe in time... It is the ffailure of the government and the relevant enforcement authorities that has led to this ....
To give exemption to these employers now from the obligation of complying with the law will be a grave injustice to workers... 
I wonder also where is the Malaysian Trade Union Congress(MTUC) - for they represent all workers in Malaysia irrespective of whether they are members of affiliated unions or not. Should they not have been in the police stations where the 100 over migrants arrested were being held...where are they?    

Foreign workers briefly detained for planning protest in Malaysia

Souce:Xinhua Publish By Updated 18/03/2013 6:13 am in World / no comments
KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Around 100 Nepali workers were briefly detained by police on Sunday in the southern town of Muar for planning to stage an protest against delayed implementation of new minimum wage standard, local media reported.
Muar police chief Mohammed Nasir Ramli said policemen were deployed after receiving information that the workers had planned to gather illegally at several places in town in protest against their employers.
“We had to stop them before they gathered as they could have started a riot,” he was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper.
All the detained were released later on the day.
Foreign workers from Nepal and several other countries have staged strikes recently in Muar and other towns for the delayed implementation of new minimum wage of 900 ringgit (288 U.S. dollars) a month this year. It is reported that the new standard only applied to local employees in their factories.
The new standard introduced by the government has met with strong opposition from small businesses, who complain that the policy has greatly increased their cost. - NZWeek, 17/3/2013, Foreign workers briefly detained for planning protest in Malaysia

Polis gagalkan cubaan warga Nepal tunjuk perasaan di Muar

March 17, 2013
MUAR, 17 Mac — Polis Muar berjaya menggagalkan cubaan lebih 5,000 pekerja asing Nepal mengadakan tunjuk perasaan di tengah bandar ini tengah hari tadi setelah mereka mendapat maklumat awal berkaitan perkara itu.

Ketua Polis Daerah Muar ACP Mohd Nasir Ramli berkata kejayaan itu berikutan kecekapan polis yang berjaya mencegah mereka berkumpul sejak awal pagi di depan sebuah pasar raya di Jalan Ali di sini.

“Kita telah menahan 106 orang, termasuk mereka yang dipercayai dalang yang merancang perhimpunan itu, untuk disoal siasat sehingga 1 petang ini,” katanya kepada pemberita pada majlis penerangan khas anjuran Jabatan Hal Ehwal Khas (JASA) negeri Johor di Kuarters Polis Diraja Malaysia Kampung Kelantan hari ini.
Beliau berkata pihaknya menerima maklumat berkaitan rancangan pekerja asing itu untuk mengadakan tunjuk perasaan di kawasan tumpuan ramai pada kira-kira 11 pagi sebagai membantah kegagalan majikan membayar mereka mengikut skim gaji minimum yang diputuskan kerajaan.

Sehubungan itu, Mohd Nasir berkata beliau mengarahkan anggota polis menjalankan rondaan di bandar ini dan melakukan pemeriksaan ke atas warga Nepal yang disyaki mahu berkumpul di kawasan berkenaan.

“Kita telah menahan sebahagian daripada mereka, termasuk yang didapati tidak mempunyai dokumen perjalanan sah, untuk siasatan lanjut,” katanya.

Beliau berkata sepasukan polis antirusuhan juga diarah bersedia dengan kenderaan, termasuk meriam air, untuk berdepan sebarang kemungkinan.

Mohd Nasir berkata keadaan di bandar diraja itu setakat ini terkawal, dan tindakan memeriksa pekerja asing yang berkeliaran akan diteruskan sehingga lewat petang.

Minggu lepas, polis Muar menahan 32 pekerja Nepal yang merusuh di kilang perabot tempat mereka bekerja kerana tidak puas hati dengan jumlah bayaran tidak mengikut skim gaji minimum.

Semalam, Menteri Sumber Manusia Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam berkata kerajaan membenarkan sebahagian majikan kilang perabot di negara ini menangguh pelaksaan gaji minimum ke satu tempoh lain sehingga mereka benar-benar berkeupayaan melaksanakannya. — Bernama - Malaysian Insider, 17/3/2013, Polis gagalkan cubaan warga Nepal tunjuk perasaan di Muar