03 Jun INVESTIGATE EDGENTA UEMS OVER CLAIMS OF UNFAIR TREATMENT OF WORKERS
The arrest of frontliners from the National Union of Workers in Hospital Support and Allied Services (NUWHSAS) is shameful and must not be taken lightly. Silencing the voices of frontliners is unfair and cruel and shows the total lack of respect and care by employers towards those already risking their lives daily to protect the rest of us from Covid-19.
Today, the police had arrested five women, including the executive secretary of NUWHSAS, under Section 186 and 269 of the Penal Code during a peaceful protest outside the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital in Ipoh.
The workers who were arrested, were voicing out their legitimate concerns over the poor treatment that hospital cleaners were receiving by their employer Edgenta UEMS including not being given enough essential protective equipment, denying the union their rights and forcing workers to change working hours and shifts.
It is downright deplorable that such exploitation of frontliners is allegedly taking place under a government-linked company like Edgenta UEMS.
The authorities must investigate the company on the alleged claims of harassment faced by workers.
Detaining hard working women and men, especially those from vulnerable communities that are already struggling is just downright cruel. These are workers who work minimum wage and barely make enough money to survive.
The police must release all detainees and drop all charges against them.
This is the time for the Human Resources Ministry to show leadership and bring in reform to our weak labour laws so as to be able to deal with workers’ right to assembly and expression; ensure better working conditions; penalise private sectors that undermine workers’ unions; and improve the safety and health of workers, especially during a crisis like the present Conditional Movement Control Order.
MARIA CHIN ABDULLAH
PETALING JAYA MP