PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s statement calling on unions to change their attitude and to not function as a facilitator of pickets is “old-fashioned” and one which has been “recycled” from the past, says Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) central committee member S. Arutchelvan (pic).
He said it was the role of the government to become the bridge between unions and employers, adding that a union’s role was to defend the workers.
“Under Dr Mahathir’s rule, the unions became weak and no longer played the role of a union that guarantees the welfare of workers,” he said in a statement.
Arutchelvan claimed that several initiatives started by Dr Mahathir had weakened the unions, citing the abolishment of the National Trade Union for electronic workers.
He also claimed that under Dr Mahathir, laws which were pro-workers were not implemented.
“All his policies are pro-employers and anti-workers,” he said.
He said most workers generally did not have the intention to picket or demonstrate.
However, when workers had been oppressed then they would picket and go on strike, he said.
“When toilet workers at the court were not paid their salaries, they went on strike. Workers would only do so when they are desperate. Workers are the heart of the country’s development, they are not robots or machines.
“They need to eat and need the money to support their lives and to have good health.”