1,000 workers march on Labour Day demanding better rights

PETALING JAYA: More than a thousand workers marched to Dataran Merdeka today demanding better rights, including a higher minimum wage, in conjunction with Labour Day.

Supported by 60 groups such as Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), Muda, Bersih and Empower, the rally saw people march for 30 minutes from Menara Maybank.

Their demands are centred around living wages, with the organisers saying that the minimum wage of RM1,500 under the 2022 minimum wage order was still too low compared with the cost of living.

They also noted that not all workers were paid this amount.

“B40 citizens, especially workers, small traders, students, non-formal workers and the unemployed, have been hit hard by the high cost of living. Middle-class citizens also face the same issues,” said the rally’s organisers in a statement.

The workers’ demands include an increase in the minimum wage to RM2,000, a universal basic income of RM1,000 for workers not in the formal sector, guaranteed employment for all and migrant worker rights.

Malaysiakini reported PSM chairman Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj as saying that workers’ salaries had only seen a 1.3-fold increase despite the GDP increasing 24 times over the last five decades.

“The country’s prosperity is the result of our collective efforts. Yet, the benefits have been disproportionately low (for workers),” he was quoted as saying.

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