MTUC slams Putrajaya for failing to consult stakeholders over policies

MTUC sec-gen J Solomon says the human resources ministry has not had a single meeting with them.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has urged Putrajaya to include relevant stakeholders in the planning of its Digital Economy Master Plan to ensure the welfare of workers.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Mustapa Mohamed had earlier announced that the government aimed to roll out the initiative in October, with a view to expand it to all sectors, including non-manufacturing.

MTUC’s secretary-general J Solomon said MTUC and the Malaysian Employers Federation were not consulted before the government decided to launch the plan, and only came to know of the master plan through the media.

“The government, especially the human resources ministry, has yet to call a single meeting with the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) since it came to power six months ago,” he said in a statement today.

He added that the move to advance automation and digitalisation in various sectors will impact many businesses, and it will also be at the expense of many workers as it involved issues of job security, upskilling and retraining.

“The master plan will be unproductive if it does not have relevant and effective legislation for the protection of workers as companies aggressively push for automation and digitalisation.

“The government seems to be emulating its predecessor by sidelining workers representatives mandated by the International Labour Organization, in drawing up important policies and legislation which impacts workers in Malaysia,” he said, alluding to the Pakatan Harapan administration’s lack of consultation with MTUC on various issues.

Solomon also said excluding stakeholders in such policies meant failure to protect the welfare of workers, who may be retrenched by banks under the guise of going forward with digitalisation and automation.

“We strongly urge the government to carry out meaningful and effective consultations with the NLAC to ensure the views of workers and employers are collectively heard and deliberated.

“Only by this process, the government can implement the master plan in a holistic manner which safeguards the interest of workers as well.”