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Monday, January 31, 2022

MTUC fumes over stagnant minimum wage as electricity tariffs rise


Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary general Kamarul Baharin Mansor has urged the government to increase the minimum wage, saying that a deadline has already been missed.

"The minimum wage increase should have taken place on Jan 1 this year, in line with the Minimum Wage Act which requires a study to be done once in two years. The last increase took place on Jan 1, 2020.

"MTUC is waiting for the government's announcement on the new minimum wage increase but has been shocked by the announcement of an electricity tariff increase to non-domestic consumers," said Kamarul in a statement today.

Last month, he had called for the government of Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to raise the minimum wage to RM1,500 and the minimum monthly cost of living allowance (Cola) to RM300 for all workers in 2022.

"The increase in electricity tariffs for non-domestic consumers due to surcharges will create an increase in other goods prices. The industry will pass on the cost of tariff increases to consumers and eventually, consumers will be affected," he said.

Kamarul urged Ismail Sabri to recognise that an increase in the minimum wage will help the working class while an increase in electricity tariff will burden the working class.

MTUC secretary general Kamarul Baharin Mansor

"How can the government curb the increase in goods (prices) to come when controlled goods such as cooking oil have been sold above the control price?" he asked.

Kamarul cited a report on the salary of cleaning workers in Singapore, which can reach RM10,000, that can be used as a guide to the government to study the minimum wage method in Malaysia.

"The MTUC will liaise with the union in Singapore to seek clarification and the best method in the implementation of the new minimum wage," he said.

He added that the MTUC is also concerned about the current state of employment issues.

"Apart from the issue of the minimum wage that is still pending, the government needs to take proactive steps on the issue of forced labour, amendments to the Labour Act, Industrial Relations Act, Trade Union Affairs Act, and the fact that National Labour Action Council meetings have not been held for a year.

"The MTUC has sent a letter to hold a meeting with the prime minister and is ready to discuss the matter with him. The new minimum wage should be implemented in a uniform manner, in line with the government's ‘Keluarga Malaysia’ vision," said Kamarul. - Mkini

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