After maid’s death, group demands law to protect migrant workers

Source: Malay Mail Online

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 12 — Malaysia must enact laws to safeguard migrant worker welfare, said Tenaganita today following a domestic worker’s death after allegedly being forced to sleep outdoors with a family’s dog.

Director of the rights advocacy group, Glorene Das, expressed her outrage today at the continued incidents of domestic worker abuse in Malaysia.

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‘Separate law needed to protect foreign maids’

Source: The Star

The Star

Das: The current Employment Act does not fully apply to foreign workers.

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaganita has called for a separate legislation to protect the rights of foreign ­workers, saying the current Employment Act does not have the provisions to do so.

Tenaganita director Glorene Das said incidences of abuse among domestic workers were on the rise due to existing loopholes in the Act.

“For example, a labour inspector cannot enter the private domains of a house to inspect how domestic workers are doing.

“That is why a separate legislation with proper terms and conditions are needed,” she told ­reporters at an event to mark International Migrants Day.

“After studying the current Employment Act, we realised that it does not apply fully to foreign ­workers,” she said.

Das praised the Government’s efforts to introduce the system to hire maids directly online, as it would eliminate middlemen in the process.

“Tenaganita supports direct ­hiring because domestic workers are better protected and there will be more accountability since the employer will be hiring directly from the Government,” Das said.  Read more

Maintain ban on Cambodian maids, says Tenaganita

Source: FMT News

The freeze should continue until the government makes changes to its institutional framework to ensure the recognition of domestic workers as workers, says Tenaganita executive director. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Tenaganita has called on the Cambodian government to continue to freeze the recruitment of domestic workers to Malaysia for now.

Its executive director, Glorene A Das, said the freeze should continue until the Malaysian government makes changes to its institutional framework to ensure the recognition of domestic workers as workers.

“The Employment Act clearly fails to protect the rights of domestic workers, who continue to be recognised only as ‘servants’ under the act,” Das said.

She said this definition would continue to lead to a relationship of master–servant where the employer had total control over the worker and thus could exploit her.

“Whenever there is publicity over an abuse or death of a domestic worker, the government, through its ministers, gives political assurances that do not convert to a rights protection framework,” Das said in a statement today. Read more

MTUC doubts TPPA can protect workers’ rights

Source: The Malaysian Insider

“TPPA: Malaysia Is Not For Sale” books sits on display during its launching at the Karangkraf Complex in Shah Alam on July 11, 2014. The Malaysian Insider/Najjua Zulkefli

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement has met strong opposition in Malaysia. Malaysian Trades Union Congress says a provision under TPPA on removing restrictions on unions would not make much difference to workers’ rights. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, November 6, 2015.

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has expressed doubt that worker related issues will be resolved even if Putrajaya amend labour laws as required under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA).

Its secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam said employers were the stumbling block to setting up unions in workplaces.

“It is easy to register unions but difficult to obtain recognition from employers to enter into collective bargaining,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Gopal was responding to the TPPA summary text released yesterday, which revealed that long-standing restrictions on unions and strikes must be removed.

He said Putrajaya had yet to ratify the International Labour Orgaisation (ILO) Convention 87 on Freedom of Association.

“This convention paves the way for workers to set up unions to protect their rights and enter into collective bargaining,” he said. Read more