Malaysian worker unions push for minimum wage hike
A coalition of trade unions and workers’ organisations in Malaysia has said that the proposed minimum wage hike of RM1,500 (US$359) should be implemented despite the Malaysian Employers Federation’s (MEF) stance that it would kill businesses.
Employees have suffered as much as employers during the pandemic, said the Labour Law Reform Coalition.
“MEF should not exaggerate the employers’ suffering and neglect the sacrifices of their workers,” said the coalition’s co-chairmen, N Gopal Kishnam and Irene Xavier, in a statement.
“Since the negative impact of the pandemic had been shouldered equally by employers and workers, why can’t employers share their economic profit in the form of a wage rise with their workers when the economy is recovering?” the statement read.
“When the economy is returning to normal, it is time for employers to compensate workers with a higher wage floor. We must remember that our minimum wages are still below the poverty line,” it continued.
Earlier, MEF president Syed Hussain Syed Husman had said that most businesses were not in a position to implement the proposed new minimum wage as they were still reeling from the economic shock brought on by the pandemic and the recent flash floods.