[PS] Stop using unjustified reasons to displace Malaysian workers in automotive industry

Press Statement by Labour Law Reform Coalition on 6 April 2022 in Shah Alam

Labour Law Reform Coalition urges automotive employer associations to stop using unjustified reasons to displace Malaysian workers with foreign workers in the sector. Instead of giving a knee-jerk response, employer groups should take proactive action to address root causes in order to retain local automotive workers.

On 3 April 2022, Proton Vendor Association president Wan Mohamed Wan Embong called on the government to allow recruitment of foreign workers or recalibration of undocumented foreign workers because of the labour shortage. He claimed that local workers in the sector often leave automotive companies after 6 to 12 months.

It is common sense that if workers cannot stay on a job after 6 to 12 months, something is wrong with the companies. Just to name a few, that could be due to less attractive wage or remuneration packages, excessive and unpaid working hours, bad work culture, or unsafe and unhealthy production process.

Therefore, please don’t use a “phenomenon” to scapegoat workers, the problem may lie in the employers. Let’s be scientific in studying the labour shortage issue in the sector, and together find an amicable solution to address the concern of local workers.

LLRC calls on the government and employer groups to establish tripartite sectoral councils in all industrial sectors including automotive sector, so that trade unions and employer groups in sectors and the Ministry of Human Resources can hold regular social dialogue to discuss and address issues in the sectors.

Philippine and Singaporean governments have formed many tripartite sectoral councils to promote industrial peace and improve working conditions in some sectors. It is a good practice that should be implemented as soon as possible to stimulate economic growth and productivity.

N. Gopal Kishnam


Labour Law Reform Coalition