Malasia - Unions work together to propose amendments to Malaysia’s Employment Act 1955

On 13 January 2019, a consultation meeting was held with more than 60 participants from 31 national unions, two international union peak bodies, NGOS and the Malaysian Trade Union Congress to discuss the Malaysian government’s plan to amend the Employment Act 1955. A first consultation meeting, also organised by IndustriALL, was held on 9 December 2018 during which issues such as parental leave, maximum weekly working hours and improving retirement benefits were discussed.
Among key amendments discussed at the 13 January meeting were an increase to freedom of association and collective bargaining rights, with a particular focus on strengthening the statutory provisions regarding the formation and registration of trade unions and recognition of collective agreements.
The working group is also proposing further amendments that reduce the ability of the government to deregister or suspend unions, requiring that any such decision must be referred to a court. The proposed amendments will also include a prohibition on restricting strikes or declaring a strike unlawful or invalid.
The meeting, which was officiated by Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor, president of MTUC and moderated by Bruno Periera and Gopal Kishnam, will submit its proposed amendments to the Minister ahead of its scheduled tabling in March 2019.

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