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MTMA seeks withdrawal of minimum wage policy
Jan '14
The Malaysian Textile Manufacturers Association (MTMA) has urged the Government to withdraw the minimum wage policy for foreign workers, so as to ensure the survival of its members, Malaysian National News Agency Bernama reported.
The Malaysian Government has said that the Minimum Wages Order 2012 for foreign workers would be fully implemented from this month, which means that employers can no longer deduct charges against levy, accommodation and/or other benefits from the salary of foreign workers.
The Minimum Wages Order 2012 requires employers with six employees and above to pay a minimum wage of RM900 a month in the peninsula or RM800 a month in Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan.
In a statement, MTMA said the nature of textile and apparel industry is such that all workers need to undergo six-month intensive training before they can be productive, and a minimum wage of RM900 per month even during the training period creates a huge burden and it affects the competitiveness of Malaysian industry in the global market.
Andrew Hong, chief executive officer of MTMA, said the new wage structure is creating unhappiness amongst experienced workers as they are being paid the same wages as the new recruits. Moreover, the new minimum wage for foreign workers has spread unhappiness amongst local workers as they are paid RM630 during the probationary period of six months.
Hence, the association appealed to the Government to allow the domestic textile and apparel industry to implement a probationary period of three to six months for foreign workers, when they would be paid a minimum wage of RM630 per month, with the employers bearing the levy cost during the period.
The MTMA further urged the Government to relax the requirements for recruitment of foreign workers, so that the garment units can employ more foreign workers and reduce the overtime cost, in order to remain competitive.
In 2013, Malaysian textile and apparel exports are estimated to have earned RM9.5 billion in foreign exchange.
The Malaysian textile and garment industry employs about 85,000 people, of whom around 50 percent are foreigners.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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