KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 ― The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) today warned against the government’s decision to approve certain economic sectors to operate at full capacity, saying how complacent SOP implementations may possibly lead to yet another Covid-19 outbreak.
MTUC expressed its concern over the potential lackadaisical implementation of safety measures at these workplaces and the absence of clear policies by the government.
Secretary-General J. Solomon in a statement today revealed that among worrying feedback it had received include claims that workers still huddled together on buses and vans, and that they mingle freely in workplace cafeterias in total disregard of social distancing rules.
“While MOH has done its job in drawing up the SOP, the government must follow up by coming out with a solid plan to ensure the SOP is implemented and enforced by employers.
“Merely warning employers that their operations will be halted if they do not comply is not nearly enough to ensure the SOP is adhered to.
“Strict enforcement is key to ensuring that the SOP is complied with, and action must be taken against recalcitrant employers,” Solomon wrote.
Additionally, he highlighted how most in the construction sector share makeshift accommodation, or kongsi, often nearby their workplace, while some end up in cramped apartment units sometimes housing up to 15 people in three bedrooms.
“Such living conditions and a lax attitude towards the MOH guidelines risk turning these accommodation into new breeding grounds for Covid-19 infections when the movement control order (MCO) is relaxed.
“We need to learn from the Singapore experience and must pay due attention to workers’ safety, not just at workplaces but also where they stay,” he said.
Solomon then urged the government to compel employers to provide its staff with the necessary protective and sanitary equipment, while relooking accommodation provided to ensure basic hygiene and social distancing can be practiced.
He said the National Security Council must come up a blueprint that enforces the MOH’s guidelines, which should also cover basic training for security and ordinary personnel on ways to implement and enforce the SOP.
“We do not question the need to gradually reopen the economy but insist that the government come up with an effective blueprint that will give teeth to the MOH’s SOP in ensuring efforts to kickstart businesses are not impeded by any fresh Covid-19 clusters,” Solomon wrote.
This comes in response to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s (Miti) decision to allow approved economic sectors to operate at full capacity in a bid to boost the recovery of the supply chain for products and services to meet local and international demand.
Miti in its announcement yesterday stressed that failure to comply with the provided SOP will result in revocation of permission to operate during the MCO.
Source : https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/04/29/mtuc-urges-strict-enforcement-of-mohs-sop-at-sectors-allowed-to-operate-at/1861281