Although the amount of special allowance given to healthcare workers and members of the security forces were given special allowances for their services during the pandemic is seen as not enough, there’s another group of forgotten frontliners who have allegedly not gotten any attention from the government and they are the essential service workers like contract cleaners and security guards.
For example, the hospital sanitation workers who work hard in keeping the hygiene and disposing of contaminated materials should be treated like any frontliners as they too put themselves in the same amount of risk. However, most of them are contract workers hired through an agency which means they are not eligible to get the special allowance from the government.
In order to try and change this, the good people at Jaringan Pekerja Kontrak Kerajaan (JPKK) has come up with a petition to urge the government to hire them as permanent staff so that they can be helped with all the allowance as well. The petition wrote,
“But most of us have not been paying attention towards the ‘forgotten frontliners’; cleaners, security guards, eg: support services workers especially in governmental buildings such as hospitals and schools. They are being left out from the government’s definition of frontliners & as such, did not and will not receive benefits related to the ‘frontliner’ label such as hazard pay, and add to the fact that they have been on the receiving end of the oppressive employers & corrupt contractors for years now.”
There are three demands in the petition:
- Absorb all contractual support services workers in governmental buildings like cleaners, security guards, and gardeners as permanent employees of the public sectors.
- Abolish the deeply embedded cronyism within the contractual system, and to abolish the need for parasitic middlemen.
- Reduce leakages of public funds that belong to fund the benefits & welfare of the workers, and to improve the governance & competency of relevant authorities in caring for the welfare
of these workers.
For those who want to support this petition (and you should!), kindly go to the petition here. We need to help those invisible frontliners who work behind the scenes as these people deserve all the attention that they can get!
Also read: These 6 Professions Are M’sia’s Unsung Heroes Who Continue Working Despite The Covid-19 Outbreak