MIRI: Many Sarawakian workers in the private sector have been badly hit by job loss as well as forced prolonged unpaid leave.
Miri MP Dr Teo Yu Keng said he learned that native workers, especially rural-urban migrants, were losing their jobs at an alarming rate.
“I was told that native workers in tourism-related sectors like hotels and tour operators, and also workers in agriculture plantations and estates are being retrenched every month, ” he related.
“Some workers are being forced to take unpaid leave for up to three months at a time.
“Cities like Miri are badly hit by loss of economic revenue because of the economic downturn caused by the collapse of the local tourism sectors and the drastic drop in oil and gas business.
“Blue-collar workers in these sectors are losing their jobs and this has been going on every month for the last three months, ” he added.
Dr Teo, who is PKR national vice-president and Sarawak PKR vice-chairman, said many of the workers in the private sectors in Miri were rural-urban migrants who end up living in squatter colonies.
“Rough estimates show that there are at least 4,000 families living in squatter colonies in Miri and most are natives.
“The number is growing as more and more jobless rural migrants set up home in these slums after losing their jobs in the city, ” he said.
Dr Teo said Miri was overdependent on oil and gas projects and tourism, both of which were hitting low levels.
He added that he would raise these issues at the Dewan Rakyat sitting that was ongoing in Kuala Lumpur.
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