The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) today expressed its hope for a less thorny relationship with newly appointed Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan. In its congratulatory message to Datuk Seri Saravanan, MTUC secretary-general J. Solomon said, “We hope he starts looking after the needs of workers and their families immediately.”
Solomon claimed former Minister M. Kulasegaran had pushed through amendments to the Industrial Relations Act without consulting relevant stakeholders. “He failed to consult the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) where the MTUC and the MEF (Malaysian Employers Federation) are represented. “On numerous occasions, he ignored the spirit of tripartism (sic) as contained in the ILO (International Labour Organisation) charter and attempted to dilute the role and responsibility of the MTUC,” the statement claimed.
MTUC suggested that Datuk Seri Saravanan’s first move as human resources minister should be the decision to extend the Family Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to those in the private sector, especially those in the B40 and M40 groups. “We hope the minister will focus on developing a competent, productive, responsive and resilient human capital in the labour market to increase the national productivity. “In addition, he must ensure harmonious and conducive industrial relations by listening to unions and be progressive in nature.”