Ahead of Budget 2018, workers unions seek RM1,800 floor wage

MTUC cited the rising cost of living as a reason for the need to increase the minimum wage to a flat RM1,800 nationwide. — AFP pic
MTUC cited the rising cost of living as a reason for the need to increase the minimum wage to a flat RM1,800 nationwide. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) wants the minimum monthly wage raised to a flat RM1,800 nationwide.

Its secretary-general J. Soloman cited rising living costs as a reason and hopes the government will consider its suggestion to revise the current monthly rates of RM1,000 for peninsular Malaysia and RM920 for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

“In line with the prime minister’s aspiration for Malaysians to be a high-income society, the prime minister announced a minimum wage policy. But this rate today is insufficient for workers, especially Malaysians to have a quality life,” he said in a statement.

The MTUC held a forum on the minimum wage here yesterday which discussed a revision of the local minimum wage due to socioeconomic developments.

Solomon said MTUC’s research shows living costs have been steadily rising and suggested RM1,800 as minimum wage is a “reasonable” amount.

He claimed that the average price of goods sold in Malaysia is now seven times the price of the same goods in Australia even accounting for the different currencies.

According to Solomon, an analysis by workers unions worldwide show a weekly wage raise of US$50 (about RM200) would help lift the economic status of workers.

He added that MTUC has submitted a list of its suggestions to the government for consideration in its Budget 2018 to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat later this month.

Malaysia finally enforced the minimum wage policy from July 1 last year, after embracing it in 2012 amid protests from employers.

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