PETALING JAYA: Contract workers such as cleaners and guards at government facilities are owed about RM3,600 each in wage adjustments since the minimum wage came into effect last May, says the Malaysian Trades Union Congress.
MTUC secretary-general Kamarul Baharin Mansor said the failure to pay the minimum wage was tantamount to the workers becoming victims of forced labour, Bernama reported.
Kamarul said the government should also provide data on errant contractors so that payment of salary arrears and minimum wage adjustments could be made directly to the workers.
He said MTUC had suggested that the contractor’s bond be withheld if they fail to pay the minimum wage adjustments to their workers.
He also urged the human resources ministry to use its power to ensure the rights of all government contract workers are protected.
The minimum wage was raised to RM1,500 a month last May.
“The workers cannot be made victims of the government-enforced system,” he said. “Failure to pay the minimum wage must be seen as a weakness of the contract system.”
Kamarul called for “a mechanism to ensure that minimum wage adjustments are paid every time a new minimum wage order is announced”.
He suggested two reasons for the failure of the contractors, who employed the workers, to pay the minimum wage – “either the delay from the government’s side to pay the adjustments, or the contractor’s own financial problems”.