Malaysia among the worst places to work

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Workers' rights in Malaysia are not guaranteed, reports the International Trade Union Confederation..

PETALING JAYA: According to an international trade union coalition, Malaysia does not guarantee workers’ rights.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has ranked Malaysia as among the worst places in the world to work in its debut report, Global Rights Index which was made public on Monday.

ITUC is an international confederation of national trade union centres with 325 affiliated organisations in 161 countries.

It ranked the best countries as 1 and the worst as 5. Malaysia was ranked as number 5 along with 23 other countries.

In the South East Asia region Singapore scored the highest ranking with number 3. Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand were ranked 4 while Philippines and Cambodia were ranked 5 respectively.

According to the report, countries ranked number 5 do not guarantee workers’ rights.

These countries have legislation that spells out rights but workers do not have access to these rights and are exposed to unfair labour practices and autocratic regimes.

There are also countries that are given 5+ rankings. These countries do not guarantee workers rights due to breakdown in the rule of law. There are dysfunctional institutions due to internal conflicts. South Sudan and Syria are among them.

Countries like Norway and Uruguay that are ranked 1 have irregular cases of rights violation though its collective labour rights are guaranteed. Workers in these countries can defend their collective rights through collective bargaining.

Countries ranked 2 have repeated violations of rights. It has slightly weaker collective labour rights as certain rights are under constant attack by governments and companies.

Countries where governments and companies regularly interfere in collective labour rights and fail in guaranteeing important aspects of workers rights are given a ranking of 3. Canada and Israel are among some which fall within this category.


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