The amendments, when passed, would completely remove security of tenure for thousands of workers in the country.
By G. Rajasekaran (Secretary General)
MALAYSIAN TRADES UNION CONGRESS
15TH APRIL 2010
WORST LABOUR LAW AMENDMENTS IN 40 YEARS
TO PROMOTE PRECARIOUS EMPLOYMENT
Human Resources Minister Dato Dr S. Subramaniam has given the green light to amend the three major labour legislations.
The proposed changes to the Employment Act 1955, Industrial Relations Act 1967 and the Trade Union Act 1959 is seen as the worst in 40 years. The amendments, when passed, would completely remove security of tenure for thousands of workers in the country.
The amendment is deliberately designed to empower employers to employ workers on fixed term contract for as long as they please. Even workers who had ten years service on a contract basis will have no right to seek redress in the event of termination.
This is a drastic change from the current law and practice which accords the right to all workers, irrespective of their salary levels and length of service, including probationers to challenge their dismissals.
The Minister is also seeking amendments to permit employers to question a trade union’s representative status every five years. This will have a serious impact on trade unions right to negotiate on terms and conditions of employment. This will also encourage employers to intensify their efforts to encourage their employees to relinquish their union membership. MTUC is deeply concerned with the Minister’s retrogressive step.
Union leaders representing 200 affiliates will participate in an emergency meeting on Monday (19th April 2010) to discuss the draconian amendments, and decide on the course of action.
The proposed amendments, we believe, are done at the behest of Multinational Corporations and potential investors.