Low wages and economic policies that are not in the interest of the ordinary people are driving households deeper into debt, observes Anil Netto.
Burma’s poorly paid garment workers are anticipating a pay hike this year, report Thida Win and Yadana Oo. But this has to be put in perspective: 1,000 Kyat is equivalent to about US$1, so the pay rise is only about $10.
At a time when the Human Resource Minister talks about workers earning poverty wages of less than RM720 a month, S Arutchelvan expresses dismay over an Industrial Court award that glorifies the plantation employers’ proposal of what it calls a ‘safety net’ of RM450.
If children cannot be protected against an exploitative and unjust system, what is the rationale for standing in their way when they participate in actions to demand their rights, asks Rani Rasiah.
Should not the the Prime Minister change his government policies to meet the needs of the rakyat instead of forcing the rakyat to change to meet his policy needs, asks Rani Rasiah in an open letter to the premier.
Workers in Malaysia can only have a brighter future if they seek to organise and mobilise themselves to effect political changes that are favourable to them, observes Toh Kin Woon.
Rani Rasiah takes up the theme by looking at the hypocrisy of the ‘people first’ slogan in a system which squeezes low-income workers on all fronts. Low wages without proper retrenchment compensation only results in poverty, she asserts.
The Asian Migrants Centre, the MAP Foundation and the Workers and Farmers Solidarity League of Burma applaud the brave action taken by workers in industrial zones in Burma who have protested against exploitative working conditions despite the threat of a crackdown.
Photo courtesy of Irrawaddy
Imagine being paid RM1 per hour and yet being expected to lay down your life in the line of duty. J John writes about the plight of underpaid security guards who have to work long hours to earn a subsistence wage.