MCO 2.0: More calls for government to help B40, M40 workers

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The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has urged the government to assist workers affected by the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Its secretary-general Kamarul Baharin Mansor stressed that they received numerous complaints of people losing their jobs during last year’s MCO, adding that the situation could see a repeat this time around.

Hence, he called on the government to provide necessary aid for the affected parties.

“The government can provide aid such as electricity subsidy, (loan) moratorium or any other form of assistance especially to the B40 and M40 groups.

“Failure to do so will only reflect on the government’s negligence towards these workers,” he said in a statement today.

Selangor, Penang, Melaka, Johor, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan are now under the MCO following a spike in Covid-19 cases recently.

MTUC added that they believed there were companies which were not complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) which then contributed to the increase in cases related to workplaces.

“The companies flouting the SOPs must be held responsible, and they must cease operations.

“Companies hiding their workers who tested positive for the virus should be taken to task,” he added.

Meanwhile, a banking union today said Putrajaya must follow up with its declaration of emergency and new movement control order with a fresh aid package for the people.

National Union of the Bank Employees general secretary J Solomon said cash aid must be given out, as life is really tough for those in the B40 income bracket.

“The priority for the government now is to ensure no Malaysian starves or is left out during these times.

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“Many self-employed and low-income workers from the B40 category who are daily paid will be in dire straits,” he said in a statement.

He said the government must also ensure that the aid to be given is not executed unfairly to the target group as it was done during the first MCO.

“This should not be the case as the government has enough reserves to ensure aid reaches the group that deserve it, as soon as possible, and it should not be seen to enrich anyone in authority.”

Solomon also said the government must make public the aid paid to companies to ensure they truly deserved their assistance.

He said there were many irresponsible employers in the tourism and hospitality industry who had acted irresponsibly by laying off workers during a pandemic since early 2020.

He said that politicians and employers should not use this pandemic to cling on to power or profiteer.

“Good governance must prevail both in the private sector and the government.

“We urge all parties to come together and work as a team to lift the nation out of the doldrum it is in.

“Sticking their necks into the sand and saying everything is under control when it is not is going back to their old ways. Malaysia cannot afford to have such leaders any more,” he said.