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“MTUC Calls for Sanitation Checks on Workplaces of Migrant Employees since the Fresh Outbreak of Covid-19 Cases”

The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) called on the related authorities to perform urgent workplace and dormitory searches of foreign employees nationally to prevent fresh Covid-19 cases outbreaks.

The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) called on the related authorities to perform urgent workplace and dormitory searches of foreign employees nationally to prevent fresh Covid-19 cases outbreaks.

Executive Director of MTUC J. Solomon said it was disappointing that MTUC’s requests had so far been overlooked with little to no oversight to insure that workers had applied on-the-job protocols and SOPs.

Worse still, Solomon said barely any attempt has been made to force businesses to offer adequate housing to international employees to reduce the possibility of infection.

It is evident that the numerous government bodies such as the Ministry of Human Resources, Immigration, Fire and Rescue Department and the City Council have shirked their obligations in ensuring that employers offer appropriate accommodation to migrant employees as stipulated in the 1990 Workers’ Guaranteed Housing and Amenities Act.

This comes after Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said a building site in Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia ‘s new cluster of Covid-19 outbreaks, with 44 positive cases found alone there.

Dr. Noor Hisham said there was a strong possibility that foreign workers employed on construction sites would stay in closed and cramped spaces, adding that he thought it was the key factor in how diseases could spread among foreign workers on construction sites.

Solomon said however that employers would urgently work hand in hand with the Ministry of Human Resources and the Ministry of Health to draw up detailed instructions and procedures at the employees’ quarters to avoid the spread of the virus

Solomon also quoted the statement released by the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) advising the authorities to do more than only let international employees undergo Covid-19 examinations, because it can offer staff and employers a false sense of protection.

Although monitoring for Covid-19 was relevant yesterday, MMA president Dr. N. Ganabaskaran said further focus would be put on avoiding access to the risks of infection.

Unlike MTUC, the MMA has also found that the bulk of the country’s international workers live in overcrowded, uncomfortable dormitories, construction site cabins, or hostels in shop lot spaces, terrace houses, or apartments where physical distance can be almost impossible to detect.

As such, MTUC completely supports MMA President Dr. N. Ganabaskaran, calling on employers to strengthen the miserable living standards of migrant workers and acknowledging that merely monitoring their staff will be inadequate to deter the virus from breaking out.

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