By Farhan Darwis
SUBANG JAYA, Feb 28 — The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) said today it had lost confidence in the human resource minister, and urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to intervene over controversial labour law amendments it claims will bring back slavery.
MTUC said today it had no confidence in the ability of Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam (picture) to handle their complaints over changes to the Employment Act 1955. The changes to the law will see official recognition for third-party labour providers.
Last October, the Dewan Rakyat passed the contentious amendments to the law, which MTUC claimed would “bring back slavery” and erode protection for workers as employers will no longer be directly responsible for the welfare of their employees.
The MTUC had previously warned Najib that the votes of 5.7 million workers “could decide matters” in a general election.
MTUC president Khalid Atan told reporters today at its headquarters here that it appeared as if Subramaniam saw this problem as petty and was not serious in finding a solution.
“MTUC announced that we have lost confidence in the leadership of the minister who does not take employees’ problems seriously.
“So, MTUC has come together to set up an action committee to organise an assembly as a protest against the minister,” he said.
According to Khalid, if the employees’ future was not protected the union would eventually lose its purpose.
“We have already protested but it is as if the government does not care about the union’s complaints. In fact, we have repeatedly sent letters to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak but no action has been taken until today.
“MTUC wants the prime minister to listen to the union’s complaints, not sideline employees as if they do not exist; if you can listen to others, entertain them, why not to MTUC?” he asked.