Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Minimum Wage Act debate malaysiakini

an issue that is ongoing.

Workers suffer without Minimum Wage Act
S ArutchelvanApr 9, 07 4:11pm
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We refer to the letters Najib, you're wrong on minimum wage and Minimum wage not a cure-all.
When the Coalition of Factory workers and Unions (Jerit) and MTUC call for a Minimum Wage Act, they are, in fact, talking about a decent minimum wage which can guarantee a decent standard of living for the poor. One must understand that market forces do not determine that workers are taken care of. The capitalist will continue to go for cheap labour or bring in foreign workers – with documents or without. Capitalists do not have any loyalty to the country they are in - their loyalty is only to profit. State intervention would assist the workers and it is the role of the state to protect its people. In Malaysia, privatisation and neo-liberal policies ensure that people are made to pay for everything that at one time they were enjoying for free. The state has slowly and surely washed it hands of its social responsibilities. Without a Minimum Wage Act - whatever the economists say - workers would suffer and this in turn would mean that society would also suffer.
If we believe in equality, justice and fair play, then we would set a minimum wage and narrow down the income disparity between the rich and the poor in Malaysia, which is one of the highest in Asia.
The writer is pro tem secretary general of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM).

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