Workers at Japanese firms can’t stand poor treatment


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 05 Aug 2003

MTUC claimed that it has received numerous complaints from employees of Japanese-owned companies in the country who were opposed to having to stand for the entire working hours, Berita Harian reported. 

It claimed that nearly half of electrical and electronics factories owned by Japanese investors had replaced their workers’ system from sitting to standing to increase productivity since two years ago. 

The report quoted MTUC president Datuk Zainal Rampak as saying that workers, including pregnant women, were required to stand for eight hours daily. 

Zainal said he had raised the matter with the Industrial Relations Department (IRD) and Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) but the problem had yet to be resolved. 

He has also written to Women and Family Development Ministry so that the problem of pregnant women having to stand for eight hours was looked into. 

“There is no solution to the issue. DOSH even claimed that usage of chemical ingredients at the work place is a bigger issue than workers having to stand for eight hours,” he said. 

Zainal met 200 employees of an electronics company at their union's special meeting where they voted to picket over several issues, including that of women workers having to stand for their entire working hours, collective agreement and safety and health at workplace. 

Another issue was the failure of the company to respect the doctors’ proposal that women workers not stand while working and its failure to hold a monthly meeting with the union. 

Zainal said there were some among the elderly women suffering from serious foot injury. 

He also forwarded a complaint about the company’s treatment towards local workers to the Japanese International Workers’ Foundation which would visit the country from Sept 8 to 11 to investigate the matter. 

The daily also reported the incidence of ships anchored at Singapore which were discharging black oil in Johor waters particularly at Tanjung Piai, Pontian and Teluk Ramunia and Kota Tinggi. 

Southern Region Marine Department director Hazman Hussein confirmed the activity and admitted that it was difficult to cripple it. 

Utusan Malaysia highlighted a government study to reduce backlogged civil cases at magistrate courts. 

It was reported earlier that there are 144,800 civil cases which were postponed at magistrate courts due to lack of judges, lawyers and witnesses, court staff and interpreters, particularly Mandarin. 

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk M. Kayveas who is heading the study, said he would hold meetings with representatives from the department’s Legal Affairs Division, Chief Justice, Bar Council, Federal Court registrar chief and Attorney-General’s Office to get their feedback to formulate a proposal to resolve the problem. 

 

He said based on the Public Complaints Bureau, there were cases which had been postponed for up to 10 years. 

 

Kayveas also proposed that judges use a common law which was suitable for Malaysian society, just like in Britain.  

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