KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has denied Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran’s claim that the state chapter was agreeable to the amendments to the Industrial Relations Act 1967.
“We are perplexed as to how and where Kulasegaran obtained this information from.
“I refer to the exclusive news report in The Star on Dec 10, titled ‘The Sarawak and Sabah MTUC chapters, as well as 62 other unions, are agreeable to the changes made to the Act’.
“Sabah MTUC vehemently denies having ever supported all the changes contained in the Bill seeking to amend the labour laws in the country.
“We have always been consistent in our support for MTUC’s national leadership and its stand on the issue, ” Sabah MTUC secretary Catherine Jikanun said in a statement Thursday (Dec 12).
Catherine added that the state chapter has seen the chronology of events listed by MTUC on its website, for members to read and understand the final changes supposed to have been tabled at the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC), but alleged that the minister failed to do so.
“As a senior union leader who has been actively campaigning and fighting for the rights of workers, I am deeply concerned about the ministry’s total disregard of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention that compels governments to conduct tripartite consultations.
“Obviously, the ministry has blithely ignored this requirement even though Malaysia has ratified the Convention.
“It is only civil and honest that the government practises this as it enjoys huge funding from ILO that is meant for the welfare and rights of all workers, ” she said.
Sabah MTUC reiterated its overwhelming support for the national MTUC leadership and called on other state affiliates to do the same, staying away from politicising the vital issue.
“We also urge all senators, whether from Pakatan Harapan or the Opposition, to stand by the workers who will eventually vote accordingly when it comes to elections, ” she said.