REVIEW INTAKE OF FOREIGN WORKERS, SAYS CUEPACS
Govt should also look into salary guidelines of employers
TASNIM LOKMAN KUALA LUMPUR email@example.com
IF employers are not supportive of labour policies, employment issues among locals will persist, said the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs). Its president, Datuk Azih Muda, urged the government to review existing policies on the intake of foreign workers and employers’ salary guidelines.
“The issue of unemployment among locals will never be resolved unless employers are willing to cooperate with their employees and adhere to policies put in place by the government,” Azih said in his speech at the Labour Day Seminar for civil servants here yesterday.
He said there were employers who still refused to abide by the government’s minimum wage policy.
The Minimum Wage Order stipulates that employees in Peninsular Malaysia are to be paid a minimum of RM1,000 a month, while employees in Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan are to be paid a minimum of RM920 a month.
The minimum wage for civil servants is RM1,200 a month.
“How do we curb the influx of foreign workers in the country if employers are not willing to fix this problem? They want good quality workers but want to pay less.
“Cuepacs proposes that the government reviews existing policies on the intake of foreign workers, the management of salaries to workers and the preparedness of employers to protect their workers.”
Azih said there were employers who were reluctant to provide their employees with more benefits to improve their quality of living.
“Today, hundreds and thousands of expatriates and foreign workers are here... some are graduates who offer good services and are not particular about their salary.
“They are willing to work and this has created competition for our local graduates who demand high salaries.
“Foreign workers have no commitments — no children and no housing loan instalments. They can rent a place with others and, once they are done, they return to their country.
“As for Malaysians, they have to pay for their homes and support their children’s education.
“We cannot compare foreign workers with the locals when it comes to salaries and benefits. They are different.
“Employers need to provide good benefits to their local workers based on existing policies. But, if the policies are already there and they couldn’t be bothered, what do we do?”
Azih said the government should impose guidelines to ensure its labour policies were adhered to.
Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda (right) accompanying Angkatan Koperasi Kebangsaan Malaysia Bhd president Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah (second from right) greeting Labour Day Seminar participants in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.