Tashny Sukumaran was quoted by The Star

by CHAN MAY THENG, 28 April 2022

PETALING JAYA: Continuous efforts will be made to ensure workers who lost their lives or livelihoods due to workplace accidents will be remembered and honoured, says the Labour Law Reform Coalition (LLRC).

Its co-chairman Irene Xavier said workers come to work, to live, to earn a living, not to die.

“Their plan is to get a job and support themselves and their families.

“Occupational and Safety laws and standards are there to see that the workplace is safe and the workers’ intention to work to live is safeguarded. Yet, the reality is quite the opposite,” she said in the solidarity event held on Thursday (April 28) in conjunction with International Workers’ Memorial Day.

The event introduced preliminary findings from the LLRC’s Occupational Health and Safety Report 2022, as well as speeches and testimonies from migrant workers and labour activists.

Tashny Sukumaran, a senior analyst with the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia said that during the pandemic, 64.2% of deaths were categorised as “sudden deaths” without further detail.

“Migrant community leaders have raised concerns about this lack of detail.

“According to union leaders, employers often pay off authorities to classify deaths stemming from exhaustion and other work-related maladies as ‘sudden death’ to avoid scrutiny and accountability,” she said.

Workers who declined to be named, shared their experiences of their co-workers’ sudden deaths and diseases with the audience. These are believed to be due to the lack of proper protection and care for the workers.

The LLRC urged Malaysians to not only mourn and remember the lives of the migrant workers lost but also strive to fight for those who are still forced to work in inhumane conditions.

The event closed with a candlelit moment of silence and solidarity for fallen workers.

This article was first appeared on The Star, 28 April 2022

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