Home Civil Society Voices BN has failed workers, says veteran union activist

BN has failed workers, says veteran union activist

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K Veeriah says he cannot understand the MTUC president’s statement that the BN government has taken care of workers’ welfare.

First, the secretary general of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress calls on Malaysian workers to vote Pakatan Harapan.

Then the MTUC president says the MTUC backs Barisan Nasional. As an individual who has been actively involved with the workers’ movement for more then 40 years, I am suprised with the position taken by the MTUC president.

As far as I can recall, MTUC has always taken the stand that it would only endorse politicians who conform with the workers’ demands on the transformation of worker-related concerns.

To the best of my recollection, MTUC has never endorsed BN as its choice of government for the following reasons:

  • 1. The BN government’s failure to conform with universally accepted trade union rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
  • The BN government’s introduction of draconian laws, such as Sosma and OSA, which have eroded fundamental human rights.
  • The introduction of GST that has imposed undue economic hardship on the people of the country the majority of whom are working people.
  • The failure of the BN government to address the escalating cost of living faced by citizens.
  • BN’s failure to provide affordable housing to the rakyat.
  • BN’s failure to manage the country’s economy resulting in increased national debts.
  • The legislative action to remove the Industrial Court’s inherent jurisdiction to award back-wages to only a maximum of 24 months in cases of unfair dismissals – which can only be best described as an intrusion by the executive arm in the dispensation of justice to workers who are unfairly dismissed by uncaring employers.
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I can go on with a lengthy list of cases of injustice that this BN government has done to the working class of the country.

Given the backdrop of the reality, I cannot digest the MTUC president’s statement that the BN government has taken care of the welfare of the workers of the country.

My humble request to him is this: please do not compromise on workers’ rights when expressing your political inclination. Please stand up against any political force that does not respect the contribution of the working people.

K Veeriah is a veteran union activist based in Penang.

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