The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) wants labour law reforms allowing freedom of associations by the foreign workers and ensure their rights equal to the local ones.
MTUC Secretary-General J Solomon has sought United Nations’ Global Labour Centre to push Malaysia to ratify Convention 87 (C87) of ILO, which deals with the fundamental freedom of association of all workers, including migrants, reports The Star, a Malaysian newspaper.
“Ratifying this Convention would allow all migrant workers to join unions of their choice and prevent their exploitation, which is happening now.”
"The spirit of the proposed labour reforms by the new Pakatan Harapan Government will free these workers from bondage and exploitation," he said at the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Centenary conference in Geneva, Switzerland today.
Upon ratifying the Convention, authorities will have to refrain from any interference that would restrict this right or impede the lawful exercise thereof.
“This ratification will also mean that foreign workers will enjoy the same benefits enjoyed by all Malaysian workers,” he said.
He added that ILO should play a key role to convince the Malaysian government to head towards this direction, as workers from all over came to Malaysia to earn a decent living.
The demand for labour reforms in Malaysia is relevant for Bangladesh as some 800,000 Bangladeshis work in the Southeast Asian country. Fraudulence in labour recruitment and labour exploitation are some of the common problems that migrants face there.