Parliament rejects Strike Act

The parliament has voted to reject the Strike Act presented by Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP) MP Riyaz Rasheed, which significantly narrowed the right to strike.

The bill – heavily weighted in favour of employers – was recently sent to the National Security Committee which recommended it be rejected and presented again after major amendments.

Out of 72 MPs present 67 voted in favor of rejecting the bill, while three MPs voted in support of the controversial bill. One MP did not vote on either side.

Jumhoree Party (JP) MP and resort tycoon Gasim Ibrahim and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Nihan voted in favour of the Strike Act – as surprisingly, did Ahmed Easa, Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP and former President of the Tourism Employment Association of Maldives (TEAM), which was at the forefront of campaigning against it.

Easa was not responding to calls at time of press, however Vice President of TEAM Mauroof Zakir suggested that “maybe [Easa] knew it would be rejected. Maybe it was a political thing, or a deal with Gasim.”

The Strike Act as proposed by the DQP bans employees from conducting a strike without obtaining a written document from the employer permitting the strike if it is to be conducted on the work site.

The Act permits employers to discontinue providing food and accommodation to any employee that continues a strike for more than 12 hours – most resorts provide food and accommodation to workers – and gives employers the authority to order strikers off the property (or the island) if the strike continues for more than 24 hours.

Strikes would furthermore be conducted during a time between 6:00am and 8:00pm, according to the act, employers had the right to be notified about any planned strikes 48 hours prior to commencement.

The bill also gives employers the right to cut salaries and allowances for the duration of time the employees have not worked, and the right to dismiss the staff for striking. It also gives employers the right to obtain a court warrant to stop an unlawful strike.

Speaking on the bill during the parliament sitting, MDP MP Mohamed Musthafa said he was grateful for the recommendation made by the committee to reject the bill.

He added that it was a constitutional right to strike and that there were more sophisticated policies used in other countries to manage strikes and to solve such disputes. He called on MPs to research these policies before presenting such bills.

Despite voting in favour of the Strike Act, Nihan told the chamber it was a constitutional right to strike and express opinions, and that people should be able to exercise this right whenever they wanted to.

Gasim argued that he saw no reason why parliament should reject the bill, which he claimed would benefit the society and and the economy.


9 thoughts on “Parliament rejects Strike Act”

  1. Easa is piece of joke, when it comes to prove his stand, he backed out. he should be allowed to speak on the subject again!

  2. A happy day for the young Maldivian democratic aspirations. Had this bill become a law, it would have created lot of problems for the Maldives, as Maldives is trying to ratify the 8 conventions of International Labour Organisation (ILO). in addition, this bill simply is in consistent with the constitution, which ever angle u take.

    MP Easa should be ashamed of himself, he just used TEAM and tourism industry staff to get elected to the Parliament. Shame on u Easa.

  3. Easa did the unthinkable! How can the supposed champion of workers rights be one of three to say yes to that ugly piece of legislation written by Dr. Hassan for Universal Group?

  4. hassan saeed shud leave maldives and live in malaysia and get into malaysian politics....luk what he has attempted this time!

  5. if we dont protect the rights of the employers, the investors will run away faster than you all can think.

    good luck maldives, team can run the resorts themselve

  6. Hassan Saeed is in the sensible minority, as this result proves, amongst many such things.

    this is the problem with (adopted) democracy: more fools than sensible people means stupidity prevails!

    current employment law favours employees beyond what any democratic society does, anywhere.

    as someone wise has said above, when the money goes out of tourism, only then it'll hit the idiots.

    i'm sure that that imbecile mauroof zakir will be the next big hit wonder and political super-hero!

    Good luck Maldives! 🙂

  7. Now a man like Gasim, who puts his own agenda first, chairs the JSC. Shame on you Gasim and same goes for the rest of the pathetic excuse for human beings called MPs

  8. Maldivian tourism employees should raise their voice against Hassan Saeed, for Gaumee Party's attempt to silence employee grievences. Specially all tourism employees from Addu, must raise this issue through out Addu City, so that Addu folks are fully aware of the damage planned by Dr. Hassan. Addu People must note that Dr. Hassana has been working with vigor to curb special interests of the Addu People.

    Dr. Hassanu tried his best not to let the government declare Addu as a City.

    Dr. Hassan tried his best not to let the government have the SAARC summit at Addu City.

    Dr. Hassan is currently trying his best to amend the tourism employment law, to prohibit employees from going on strike at the resort premises.

    I call for all Addu people to rise up against Dr. Hassan and his evil plans for Adduans.


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