The Sarawak division of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) is pleased to note that Bank Negara has finally let the cat out of the bag and echoed what MTUC has been saying all these years: employees have been shortchanged.
We feel vindicated. The challenge now is to formulate robust policy measures to bring about meaningful change.
There must be greater empowerment of workers and recognition of trade unions to enable them to bargain for fair wages.
There must be strong political will to stand up to employers and their powerful lobby and move ahead with labour law reforms.
Employers must stop their scaremongering and realise their incessant whining has led us to this unsustainable situation.
Workers and trade unions must grasp this opportunity to push for changes. And embrace international labour standards and practices. The current trade union structure is not effective anymore.
Andrew Lo is the secretary of the Sarawak division of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress.