Apply workers’ rights: Malabag

National, Normal

MANY managers in the private sector are ignoring the rights of workers, president of the Trade Unions Congress has claimed.
Michael Malabag said some were even trying “to rewind the clock on many hard-won gains” and pointed to a recent dispute between Steamships Company and the Maritime Transport Union.
He claimed that workers were being denied paid maternity protection, child care, overtime, compassionate and sick leave, leave fares, allowances, decent wages and others.
“Workers were also unfairly dismissed,” he said in a statement.
Mr Malabag said the “perpetrators” were mostly new expatriates who appeared to want to provoke industrial unrest.
Some were resorting to verbal and sexual harassment, he added.
Mr Malabag said unions resorted to strikes only because their members were denied justice by employers.
He said the unions also wished for a harmonious industrial relations environment, as any unrest would be detrimental to the country’s economy.
“The union wants all its members to be treated fairly and not as animals without any concerned from their employees regarding their welfare,” Mr Malabag said.
He suggested that the Government take the following steps:
*Revoke the work permit of any expatriate who undermines
workers’ rights and labour laws;
*Charge any expatriate with treason if his actions cause
industrial unrest that results in a substantial loss to the country’s economy; and
*Instruct the Labour Department to be more vigilant and make employers more accountable for any breaches of workers’ rights and labour laws.
Mr Malabag also urged all major employer organisations to advise their members to adopt good and fair practices.