By Geryl Ogilvy
KUCHING, May 1: More efforts are needed to protect workers’ rights in the country, said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice Women chief Voon Shiak Ni.
Voon, who is also the special officer to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, said cases of employers not giving their workers the necessary off days in a month as well as those forced to work up to 12 hours a day still exist.
“This is not right. We urge employers to at least observed the basic guidelines on workers’ entitlement to off days and the limit of working hours as a responsible employer,” she said in her Labour Day message today.
Voon reminded that workers are the greatest asset for a nation and their contributions to nation building is invaluable and deserves the due recognition and appreciation from the government and other stakeholders.
“The least we can do for workers as employers is to support them for their basic rights,” she opined.
In conjunction with Labour Day, Voon visited Miri Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) on behalf of Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin to compliment the firefighters for their tireless efforts in putting out the raging wildfires in Miri for the past two weeks.
Miri MP Dr Michael Teo was also present to hand out cakes and tarts to the Bomba personnel. He also visited Miri Hospital to honour the 24-hour service provided by the workers there.
He said these departments, which includes the police force, operate round-the-clock and never close, not even on public holidays.
“Some workers do not get to take leave even on important days, including festive seasons such as Hari Raya, Gawai and Christmas, not to mention Labour Day,” he added.
“We also mobilised our staff and PKR members to do some cleaning up programmes in town as a gesture to honour the contributions of the workers of blue collar jobs who have contributed much to the progress and well-being of the society. They are the unsung heroes of our nation.”
Labour Day originated from the struggles by workers’ movement around the world to fight for the rights of workers, and in some countries, including Malaysia, the day was usually marked with strings of street protests to demand better rights for workers, the statement continued. — DayakDaily