No reports of layoffs have been received this year, according to the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary general J. Solomon.
However, Solomon noted that some employers may take advantage of the current economic situation to lay-off workers, reported The Sun.
Solomon noted that some employers who are closing down their factories, citing that they face difficulty in hiring foreign workers.
He added that some employers are also taking the “mischief” approach of laying off workers with the claim that they are facing problems. However, the secretary general pointed out that these problems can be covered by the huge profits they made during the boom years.
Solomon is of the opinion that employers should stop creating these supposed economic problems because their actions are jeopardising the country’s economy.
“He pointed out that there are local workers who are willing to work but they must be made a living wage,” The Sun reported.
Help workers survive economic hardship
Noting that many employers had made huge profits during the good times, Solomon said that its now time that they start repaying their workers to help them survive this economic hardship.
One of the ways this can be done is by paying workers Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) to help deal with the rising cost of living, he noted.
Solomon also urged the government to bring all stakeholders, employers, employees and investors, to discuss ways and means to deal with the current problems.
“The government can help the workers by giving them low interest rates of one to two percent for houses between RM300,000 to RM500,000 and however those who can afford houses above RM500,000 should be asked to higher interest to offset the low interest paid by the others,” Solomon told The Sun.
Additionally, in order to ensure that workers are fully employed during the economic slowdown, Solomon advised employers to avoid automation for the time being.
“The time has come for employers to stop relying on wage foreign labour but instead pay a proper wage to local workers,” he told The Sun.
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