Trade unions hail Pikas, want to meet Miti over costs fears

PETALING JAYA: Several trade unions have welcomed the offer for employers to mass-vaccinate their workers under the Program Imunisasi Industri Covid-19 Kerjasama Awam-Swasta (Pikas).

But they are hoping that workers will not have to bear the costs in other forms.

They said that Miti should consult worker unions and not just their employers.

“We welcome the effort by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) to ensure all workers are vaccinated, but businesses thrive on profits and every sen counts for our employers.

“Although it may not be a direct transfer of costs, we fear the employers will make us pay in other forms,” said Malaysian Trade Union Congress deputy president Mohd Effendy Abdul Ghani.

He called on the government to bear the costs of vaccinating workers as “a moral commitment” to all workers.

National Union of Transport Equipment & Allied Industries Workers general secretary N. Gopal Kishnam also called on employers not to pass the costs to the workers and urged the government to help bear the cost of vaccination for workers.

Union Network International-Malaysia Labour Centre (Uni-MLC) president Datuk Mohamed Shafie BP Mammal said that Miti should not make employers bear the cost of vaccinating their workers, even if the employers proposed the idea.

He said vaccines should be free for the population under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

Uni-MLC has at least 102 unions under its umbrella, with about 500,000 workers from various major industries such as plantations, telecommunication and postal services.

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