Weekly Highlights

Intimidating union leaders, really PN??

I am shocked to read that the Human Resources Minister M Saravanan has lodged a police report against the general secretary of National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) J Solomon over his criticism on Saravanan’s statement.  

According to the media report, Solomon has criticized the HR Minister on the suspension of the workers’ housing regulation was a “blatant tactic to intimidate workers’ unions”. He clarified that NUBE was merely pointing out the minister’s failure to take into account that employers had been given adequate time to comply with the provisions of the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446)

“I believe this is the first time a Human Resources Minister has lodged police report against a trade union leader’s statement in the history of Malaysia”.  – Teresa Kok

If the said trade union leader has accused the Human Resources Minister wrongly, the Minister should rebut him in the media or hold dialogue sessions with him and other trade union leaders to explain his ministry’s position further, but lodging a police report is indeed bizarre.

Saravanan must understand his role as Minister of HR, he must have regular meetings with both employers and trade unions in the country to better understand problems faced by both parties. He should also mediate conflicts between both parties. 

M Saravanan lodged a police report against Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general J Solomon 

However, instead of befriending the interested parties under the purview of his ministry, he offends the trade unionists by lodging police report against one of their leaders. Isn’t this clearly counter-productive?  

The economy of the country has been badly affected by the Covid pandemic. Many companies have closed down. Workers are facing furlough and mental health issues. The Human Resources Minister must work hand-in-hand with the industries to facilitate in job creation and other welfare programmes including implementing retraining programmes. 

Therefore, I urge Saravanan to retract his police report against J Solomon and invite him and other trade unionists for a meaningful dialogue, to resolve the misunderstandings between him and them. Saravanan should treat trade unions as partners and not foes. 

Teresa Kok 

MP for Seputeh 

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