by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Wednesday, 7th February 1990:
DAP forms Estates Workers Task Force headed by MP for Ipoh, P. Patto, to give support to rubber estate workers in their fight for monthly wages, both inside and outside Parliament.
DAP has formed an Estates Workers Task Force, headed by DAP Deputy Secretary-General and MP for Ipoh, P. Patto, to give support to the fight of the rubber estate workers for decent monthly wages – both inside and outside Parliament.
The DAP does not agree with the Labour Minister’s reference to the Industrial Court of the dispute over the claims of the rubber estate workers for conversion of daily rates to monthly wages, because we do not believe that the Industrial Court would be able to do justice to such an issue.
In fact, rubber estate workers have no confidence that their grievances could be justly resolved by reference to the Industrial Court, because of their previous experience with their monthly wage claim before the Industrial Court in 1986.
this is why there are so many workers, especially in Sungei Siput, who continued to go on strike, despite the reference of their dispute to the Industrial Court by the Labour minister, making the strike illegal.
As it is the Government which halted the strike of the estate workers and referred their claims for monthly wages to Industrial Court, it is the Government which must be responsible for finding a solution whereby the estate workers could successfully convert their daily rates to monthly wages without having to go to the Industrial Court.
I suggest that the Cabinet get both parties, namely MAPA and NUPW, to agree that they would have a one-month period to negotiate and reach agreement on the conversion of daily rates to monthly wages, failing which the Government would amend the Employment Act to provide that estate workers should be paid monthly and no more on daily rates.
Members of the DAP Estates Workers Task Force is as follows:
Chairman :P. Patto – Deputy Secretary-General, MP (Ipoh);
Vice Chairman :Ahmad Nor, National Vice Chairman;
David, MP (Puchong);
Secretary :N. Shanmugam: Penang State Assemblymen (Bagan Dalam);
Members :Teoh Teik Huat, MP (Bagan);
Ting Chek Ming, MP (Batu Gajah);
Mahadevan Nair, Selangor Assemblyman (Damansara Utama);
Dr. Ganesh Anandan