Saturday, April 30, 2011

29-4-11 Minimum Wage Act- Government buying time

This morning a round table discussion was initiated by Charles Santiago to discuss three main issues - I ) How should the wage council be 2)What should be the sum proposed as a minimum wage 3) How to get business to agree with this. The RT was attended by mainly interested groups and NGOs. Some Pakatan MPs were also present. PSM, JERIT, Sahabat Wanita, Tenaganita as well as Unions MTUC, NUBE were also present. Only one person from the Employers association attended.

In the RT, PSM proposed that the minimum wage should be a national one with RM 1,500 and that Pakatan State Govt should try to implement this first. PSM felt that the Government is not serious and their intention is just to announce the setting up of the Minimum Wage Council Law which will be tabled soon in parliament. From then on- the Government will say that they have done their part.

Overall everyone felt that the value of labour is not appreciated. We need to come out with a proper formula and Irene xavier proposed a minimum wage of RM 3,000 taking into accounts many factors and how wage was calculated in other Asian countries.

There was also call for the union to be more consistent in the issue and take it on. MTUC is proposing a sum of RM 1,200 - that was ten years ago. Based on the Security Guard minimum wage recently announced- sadly it was set in a range from RM 450 to RM 550 - way behind the poverty line of the country.

It looks like Minimum wage will ultimately come but how and when is still a big question mark.?

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