Jump to main content
IndustriALL logotype

Unions respond to reform of Malaysia's Industrial Relations and Trade Union Acts

16 January, 2019Malaysia's government is in the process of reforming the country's Employment Act, and IndustriALL affiliates in the country are coming together to form a response and propose amendments.

As Malaysia's Minister of Human Resources, YB M. Kulasegaran, announced that the government will make changes to the Employment Act 1955, a first consultation meeting on reforming the bill was organised by IndustriALL and the Decent Work Working Group in December last year.

An action plan came out of that meeting, deciding on completing a list of demands by the end of December 2018, to meet with the Minister of MOHR in the first week of January 2019, and to send a delegation to Parliament in March 2019, when the reformed Act is set to be tabled.

The second consultation meeting of IndustriALL and the Decent Work Working Group was held on 13 January, with more than 60 participants from 31 unions, global unions BWI and UNI, as well as from MTUC and other NGOs.

Among the main principles on the amendments discussed were freedom of association and collective bargaining rights, relating to the sections focusing on the formation of trade unions and recognition for collective agreements.

In order to prevent a delayed registration of unions, participants suggest to amend section 12(1) of the Trade Union Act in order for the Director General (DG) in charge will complete the registration within the stated thirty calendar days of submission.

The working group is proposing further amendments to strengthen the unions' position when it comes to cancelling and suspending unions, demanding such a decision to be referred to a court, as well as demanding that various restrictions on strikes must be lifted, including the DG's power to declare a strike invalid. 

The meeting, which was officiated by Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor, president of MTUC and moderated by Bruno Periera and Gopal Kishnam, will submit the amendment to the Minister.