KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) today urged employers not to lay off their workers arbitrarily in facing the economic fallout due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Its secretary-general, J.Solomon, said the congress wished to record its deepest appreciation to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Riáyatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah in making the call in his royal address when opening the Third Session of the 14th Parliament yesterday.
“The call displayed the palace’s utmost care and concern on the plight of workers, especially the B40 and M40 groups.
“In leading our elected Members of Parliaments (MPs) to give a standing ovation to the frontliners involved in combatting Covid-19, His Majesty has again put the spotlight on the need to look after the welfare of workers during this current crisis.
“As such, we urge all employers to appreciate and heed the call by our beloved King for them to do all they can to retain their workers even though many industries and businesses have been affected by Covid-19,” he said in a statement today.
“In line with the King’s message, we call on employers and businessmen not to shirk from their responsibility towards their workers and the entire nation especially those who have received financial aid from the government through the various stimulus packages,” he said.
Solomon said MTUC also urged the government to emulate the move by Hong Kong authorities to impose cash penalties on employers who sack workers, despite being given wage subsidies.
“We feel that businessmen who receive public funds to help them to keep afloat but disregard the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s advice are committing a betrayal of public trust and treason against the King,” he stressed.
He said MTUC also reiterated its call on the government to introduce Emergency Employment Regulations (EER) which bar employers from retrenching their staff for a specific period, following the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The government must give priority to the workers’ welfare as their commitment will be crucial in helping to revive our battered economy.
“Workers must not become victims of unscrupulous businessmen who opt for pay cuts and retrenchments as a quick fix to reduce costs so they can retain their profit margins,” he added. – Bernama