When we think about frontliners, we often think about the doctors, nurses, policemen and even riders, but rarely do we think about the cleaners who keep public places sanitised and clean.
Therefore, they deserve to be appreciated and heard too.
Demonstrating for lack of protective gear
On 2 June, three members of the National Union of Workers in Hospital Support and Allied Services (NUWHSAS) and two from the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) were arrested for picketing outside Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun in Ipoh, Malay Mail reported.
The five were union members M. Saraswathy, L. Danaletchumy, V. Santhiran and PSM members P. Jothi and C. Subramaniam @ Raja.
The five were arrested for going against Section 186 and 269 of the Criminal Procedure Code for disrupting public servants from carrying out their duties and Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.
The protesters have been at loggerheads with their employer, Edgenta UEMS, over several issues, including lack of protective gears against infectious diseases such as COVID-19, changing of working hours and shifts without prior consultations, being forced to work long hours without overtime pay, union-busting activities by the company, and other issues.
You can read more about the issues on PSM's page here.
Reports have been made against Edgenta UEM with the Human Resources Ministry but the issues are still ongoing.
Edgenta UEM says its willing to resolve the issues amicably
Edgenta UEM, however, has defended itself, saying that it has implemented safeguarding measure to ensure the safety of its employees during the Pandemic, another Malay Mail report shows.
It also said that the company is committed in resolving the matter amicably. The company is expected to share updates in the issue on its website.
Here's a bonus video if you want to understand the issue better from the worker's side.