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TRADE UNION Definitions 1.

Section 2 Trade Union Act 1959

Any association or combination of workmen or employers, being workmen whose place of work is in West Malaysia, Sabah or Sarawak as the case may be a. Within any particular trade, occupation or industry or within any similar trade, occupation or industries; and b. Whether temporary or permanent ; and c. Having among its objects one or more of the following objects i) The regulation of relations between a workmen and employers for the purpose of promoting good industrial relations, improving the working conditions of workmen or enhancing their economic and social status or increasing productivity. ii) The representation of either workmen or employer in trade dispute. iia) The conducting of, or dealing with trade disputes and matter related thereto. iii) The promotion or organizing or financing of strike or lock-outs in any trade or industry or the provision of pay or other benefits for its member during the strike or lock-out.

2. Section 2 Industrial Relations Act 1967 Any trade union registered under any law relating to the registration of trade unions.


1. Craft union Established for group of workers who have specialization. For example engineers can be a member for Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU). The purpose for the establishment of this union is to increase bargaining power for salary increment. 2. General union This type of union not specify any specialization for its members. Workers who cannot join craft union will join general union. A large number of members become a strength for general union but if economics recession happen, many workers will be retrenched. Therefore, number of members for this union will decrease and it will become weak. Example for general union is TGWU (transport and general workers union). Section 2 Trade Union Act 1959 has prohibited the establishment of general trade union.

3. Industrial Union Only workers from a particular industry can become members for this union. For example National Union of Mine Workers (NUMW)

4. Staff union This type of union always referred to union for workers in service sectors. For example workers in clerical, secretarial and supervisory functions.

TRADE UNIONISM IN MALAYSIA Trade union becomes an important institution in industrial relations. In Malaysia, trade unions and association of union are regulated by Trade Union Act 1959.

Unfortunately, this act has not indicate the relationship between employer and employees/trade union. The relationship between employer and employees/trade union is regulated by Industrial Relations Act 1967.

REASONS TO JOIN TRADE UNION 1. Economics motive In practice, workers work to earn salary and employer needs employees for production activities. Normally, workers join trade union to fight for good terms and conditions of employment. This is due to a worker has low bargaining power. If they join union, the union can bargain with the employer on behalf of the worker because union has high bargaining power. The association of workers in trade union gives collective power to the union. The number of union members influence the power of trade union.

2. Protection of right
Besides salary increment, workers who join union hope that the union can protect them from discrimination by employer. Another reason for the workers joining a trade union is for job security. Trade union may helps its members from unfair dismissal and fight for suitable compensation if retrenchment is exercised.

3. Social Factors Workers join a trade union to show their friendship and collaboration spirit. They also join a trade union for security purposes. This has been mentioned by Maslows Hierarchical Theory of Needs that among the human needs are affiliation (needs for friendship) level 3 and needs for security level 2. Other reasons why workers joining a trade union: 1. Pressure from senior workers who force new workers to join the union especially for trade union recognition and registration. But, workers have their right either want or refuse to join union because there is no close shop activities permitted in Malaysia. 2. They feel that they have abilities to lead a trade union. By joining a trade union, a member can show their talent as leader and fight for a position in trade unions committee.

Trade Union Functions

1. Power

Power of a trade union is identified from the activities conducted.

Normally, trade union power will balance the management power.

Without trade union, workers will facing power disadvantages because a worker has low bargaining and collective power.
With trade union workers demands are in a form of collective and they will move as a pressure group.

Sources of power for trade union In labor movement trade union can gain a power from its total of members. It also can gain a power from the relationship with other union in the same sector. From the government trade union can receives a power from statutory provisions established by the government through Trade Union Act 1959. This particular act explains and controls trade union movement. If the union fulfill recognition provisions, its activities are legal and recognize. From the employer the existence of trade union can helps the management to manage productivity from employees perspectives. Trade union will help the management to identify workers needs in order to increase productivity.

2. Economics Regulation Salary level resulted from collective bargaining gives an impact to national economics system. Normally trade union will bargain items regarding monetary. Therefore, it will effect companys operating costs. Traditionally, workers will try to maximize their salary and leisure.

Trade unions Salary Policy

Trade unions salary policy is to maximize satisfaction in level of salary and employment. Therefore they will bargain for employees salary increment and rights. Before bargaining, trade union will compare with salary structure in other organization in the similar sector. Salary survey will be conducted by the trade union.

2 limitations in salary comparison: 1. Comparing salary between job in other organization. 2. Comparing salary between job in the same organization. The limitations exist because of job description and job specification

3. Job Regulation Trade union acts to secure and improve its members terms and conditions of employment. In employment situation, the employer will try to retain its power and authority in making decision. Hence, trade union will balance managements power through collective bargaining. Sometimes trade union movement become aggressive. To reduce trade union power, the management will confront directly with workers and performs employees participation and involvement in decision making process.

4. Social Change
Trade union has a capacity to develop social function. For example trade union will fight for minimum salary so that poverty rate for the country will decrease. 5. Member Services The services refer to any facility given to the members by trade union. For example when trade union members perform a strike, the management will not pay for the strike days. Trade union will responsible to pay workers who perform strike.

6. Self Fulfillment
Trade union increases members personal satisfaction by allowing them involve in decision making process. Members of trade union can show their leadership skill in: 1. Administration system of the trade union. 2. In collective bargaining as trade union representative. The changes in members involvement in trade union activity is due to the changes in education level among workers and the changes in political awareness.

Membership in Trade Union Workers in Malaysia have their right to form and join trade union in the same trade, business or occupation. Workman refers as any person including apprentice, employed by an employer under a contract of employment to work for hire or reward for the purposes of any proceedings in relation to a trade dispute includes any such person who has been dismissed, discharged or retrenched in connection with disputes or led to disputes (Section 2 Trade Union Act 1959).

Section 5(1) Industrial Relations Act 1967 stated that no employer or trade Union of employer or any person representing employer or union of employer shall: 1. Impose any condition in a contract of employment seeking to restrain the right of a person who is a party to the contract to join a trade union or to continue his membership in a trade union. 2. Refuse to employ a person on the ground that he is or is not a member or an officer of a trade union. 3. Discriminate against any person in regard to employment, promotion, any condition of employment or working conditions on the ground that he is or is not a member or officer of a trade union. 4. Dismiss or threaten to dismiss a workman or injure or threaten to injure him in his employment or alter or threaten to alter his position by reason that the workman is or proposes or persuade other person to become member or officer of trade union or participates in a promotion or formation or activities of trade union. 5. Induce a person to refrain from becoming or to cease to be a member or officer of a trade union by conferring or offering to confer any advantages on or by procuring or offering to procure any advantage for any person. Read also Section 59 (1)(a)(d)(e) Industrial Relations Act 1967.

Therefore employees may claim for victimization if they are restrain from joining or be an officer in trade union by employer. Unfortunately it is not easy to prove the occurrence of victimization and unfair labor practice.

Case 1: In Perak Match Factory Ltd vs Industry Workers Union (Award 10 of 1967) the court has decided that the allegations of victimization are easily made out but it is very often difficult to prove such victimization. Employer has a right to exercise its prerogative as long as the practice is bona fide.
Evidences are important in proving victimization

In Lee Transport Workers Union vs Sri Jaya Transport Bhd (Award 6 of 1969) the court has decided that the court cannot uphold the victimization prosecution in the absence of positive proof. The court will taking into consideration the whole of the evidence and the particular circumstances surrounding each case.

Members of trade union also cannot persuade of force other workers to join the trade union Section 7 Industrial Relations Act 1967 indicates that no workman or trade union of workmen and no person acting on behalf of such trade union shall 1. Except with the consent of the employer, persuade at the employers place of business during working hours a workman of the employer to join or refrain from joining a trade union. 2. Intimidate/threaten any person to become or refrain from becoming or to continue to be or to cease to be a member or officer of a trade union. 3. Induce/persuade any person from becoming or cease to be a member or an officer of a trade union by conferring or offering to confer on any person or by procuring or offering to procure any advantages.

Who can join a union?

Section 26(1) indicates workman who eligible to join a trade union including: 1. A person above the age of 16. 2. A person who is under 21 but above 16 enjoys all the right of a member except be a member of the executive or a trustee of a registered trade union. 3. Persons who are in education institution for example school, polytechnic, college, university, college university or any institution providing education established under any written law are prohibited from joining a trade union unless he is bona fide employed as a workman and over the age of 18. 4. A workman only can join a trade union or be the executive of the trade union that established in similar trade or occupation where he work. 5. A member of trade union who has not attained the age of 18 shall not be entitled to vote any matters regarding strike and lock-out and all matters relating thereto, the imposition of a levy, dissolution of the trade union or of the federation with which it is connected, amendment of the rules of trade union where such amendment results in increasing the liability of the members to contribute or in decreasing the benefits to which

Section 9 Industrial Relations Act 1967 stated that no trade union of workmen the majority of whose membership consists of workmen who are not employed in any of the following capacities: 1. Managerial capacity 2. Executive capacity 3. Confidential capacity 4. Security capacity

Trade Union Registration Part 111 in Trade Union Act describes registration of Trade Union. Necessity for registration (Section 8 Trade Union Act 1959) A trade union has to be registered within a month after the establishment (S8(1)). The Director General may extent the period into 6 month in the aggregate if he thinks fit (S8(2)) Establishment of a trade union (Section 9 Trade Union Act 1959) A trade union is established from the first date on which any workmen or employees agree to become or to create an association or combination within the same trade, establishment or occupation (S9(1)). If the trade union fail to register under S8, date of the establishment deemed to be the date on which any person is proved to have been accepted or admitted as a member of a trade union (S9(2)(a)) or the date on which any act is proved to have been done by that trade union in furtherance of any one or more of the objects specified in the definition of a trade union under S2 Trade Union Act 1959 (S9(2)(b)). The earlier of such date shall be deemed as the date of the trade union establishment.

Trade union registration application (S10 Trade Union Act 1959) Every application for registration of a trade union shall be submitted to Director General and shall be sign by at least 7 members of the union, any of whom may be officer thereof (S10(1)). Director General Responsibilities in the Registration of trade union 1. Section 7 Trade Union Act 1959 (S7(1) Trade Union Act) The Director General shall keep and maintain in such form as may be prescribed, a register of trade unions in which shall be registered a) the prescribed particulars relating to any registered union b) any alteration or changes which may from time to time be effected in such particulars c) all such matters as may be required to be registered under this act. (S7(2) Trade Union Act) A certified copy of any entry in the register shall be conclusive proof of the facts specified

2. Section 12 Trade Union Act 1959 S12(1) The Director General may upon receiving any application under S10 Trade Union Act, register the trade union in the prescribed manner. S12(2) The Director General may refuse to accept registration of the trade union if there has existence of a trade union in similar trade, establishment or occupation. S12(3) The Director General shall refuse to register the trade union if a) In his opinion the establishment of the trade union is used to violate any laws. b) Any of the objects of the trade union is unlawful. c) He is not satisfied that the trade union has complied with this act. d) He is satisfied that the objects, rules and constitution of the trade union conflict with any provision of the act. e) The name of the trade union is identical with existing trade union or the name is undesirable.

Forms involve in Trade Union Registration Registration Application (Section 10(1) Trade Union Act 1959). Trade union has to fill in Form B. This form has to be submitted to Registrar of Trade Union, Trade Union Department, Ministry of Human Resources Trade Union registration (Section 7 (1) and Section 12(1)Trade Union Act 1959). Director General has to fill in Form A. This form has to be maintained in register book. Conditions for the registration of trade union (Section 12(2) and 12(3) Trade Union Act 1959) Certificate of registration Borang D (Section 13 Trade Union Act 1959)
Note: Students can refer all the forms in First Schedule in Trade Union Act 1959

Cancellation of Trade Union Registration (S15 Trade Union Act 1959) S15(1) A certificate of registration of a trade union may be cancelled or withdrawn by the Director General: a. At the request of the trade union upon its dissolution to be verified in such manner as the Director General may require, or b. If he is satisfied that i. The certificate of registration was obtained with fraud or mistake ii. Any one of the objects or rules of the trade union is unlawful iii. The constitution of the trade union or of its executive is unlawful. iv. The union is being or has been or is likely to be used for any unlawful purpose or for any purpose contrary to its objects or rules. v. The trade union has contravened any provision of this Act or any regulations. vi. The fund of the trade union has been expended in unlawful manner. vii. The trade union has ceased to exist.

Trade Union Recognition Trade union recognition will be granted by the employer after a trade union of employees being registered.

If the employer refuse to grant a recognition to a trade union, the trade union can refer the case to Director General of Industrial Relations. Any unregistered trade union cannot be recognized.
A recognition makes a trade union become lawful in carrying its function.

Recognition Procedure (S9 Industrial Relations Act 1967) 1. S9(2) Industrial Relations Act 1967 A trade union of workmen may serve on an employer or on a trade union of employers in writing in the prescribed form (Form A) a claim for recognition in respect of the workmen or any class of workmen employed by such employer or by the members of such trade union of employer. 2. S9(3) Industrial Relations Act 1967 An employer or a trade union of employers upon whom a claim for recognition has been served shall, within 21 days after the service of the claim: a. accord recognition, or b. if recognition is not accorded, notify the trade union of workmen concerned in writing the grounds for not according recognition, or c. apply to the Director General of Industrial Relations Department to ascertain whether the workmen in respect of whom recognition is being sought are members of the trade union of workmen concerned and give a written notice of such application to such

The Conditions For Recognition: 1. The union must be a registered union. 2. The union must be competent to represent the employees concerned. Members of the trade union must be in the same establishment, trade and occupation. 3. The union must be appropriate union to represent the employees concerned. It must be a white-collar union if those employees are white-collar employees and conversely a blue-collar union if those employees are bluecollar employees, and 4. The union must be sufficiently representative of the employees concerned. At lease 50.1% of those employees either must be members of the union or must want it to represent them for collective bargaining purposes.

Prohibition on Industrial Actions Activities Upon Recognition Application Section 10 Industrial Relations Act 1967 S10(1) No workman shall go on strike or do picket during the pendency of recognition proceeding.

S10(2) No employer shall declare a lock-out or terminate the service of a workman once a trade union claim for recognition. Unless: a) Where a dismissal is effected on disciplinary ground, or b) Where the claim for recognition has been resolved.
S10(3) Lock-out mentioned in S10(2) includes: a) The closing of a place of employment, or b) The suspension of work, or c) The refusal by an employer to continue to employ any number of workmen employed by him.

Section 11 Industrial Relations Act 1967

Where a trade union has been accorded recognition in respect of any workman or class of workmen whether by a decision of the Minister or otherwise no other trade union shall make a claim for recognition in respect of the same workmen or class of workmen unless a period of three years has elapsed after such recognition has been accorded or the trade union which has been accorded recognition is no longer in existence.

Borang A: Notis Tuntutan Pengiktirafan

BORANG A NOTIS TUNTUTAN PENGIKTIRAFAN Kepada .. (nama majikan atau kesatuan sekerja majikan) (alamat) _______________________

Kami (nama kesatuan sekerja) di (alamat berdaftar)

dengan ini menuntut pengiktirafan ini mengikut seksyen 9 (2) Akta Perhubungan Perusahaan 1967 mengenai (i) Semua pekerja yang bekerja dengan tuan, kecuali merekayang memegang jawatan pengurusan, eksekutif , sulit atau keselamatan; (ii) Kelas atau kelas-kelas pekerja tuan yang berikut . 2. Sesalinan peraturan kesatuan sekerja kami disertakan. Tarikh ..20 Tandatangan .. Nama: (Huruf Besar) Jawatan:.
s.k. Ketua Pengarah, Perhubungan Perusahaan Kementerian Sumber Manusia

Trade Union in Malaysia 1. Trade union for private sector 2. Trade union for public sector 3. Trade union for employer

Trade Union for Public Sector Employees Public sector includes public service (federal and state government), statutory authority and local authority.

Section 27 Trade Union Act 1959 stated that public sector employees only can join a trade union that establish in the same department, occupation or ministry. S27(2)(a-f) and S27(3) have listed group of public sector employees who are prohibited from joining a trade union.
In national level, public sector employees are represented by CEUPACS (Congress of Union of Employees in Public and Civil Services) in negotiation proceeding with JPA (Public Service Department) regarding terms and conditions of employment as well as salary scheme.

Trade Union for Private Sector There are 2 types of union for private sector employees. 1. National union covers employees in the same establishment, trade or occupation. 2. In-house union covers employees who work in the same organization. Members for in-house union must be in the same occupation. In-house union is more committed in helping organization identifying conflict because this union is more appreciate with the working environment and more understand employees problems and needs.

Weaknesses of in-house union

a. Influenced by management decisions. b. Members of union are limited to a particular company. c. Leader of in-house union may be selected from a limited members. May be a selected leader do not has good leadership skill. d. Because of limited membership, financial strength for inhouse is also limited. The union only rely on membership fees to implement activities. e. Inferiority feelings by in-house union leader towards discrimination pressure by the employer. f. Because of limited financial standing, in-house union has facing difficulties in giving social benefits to its members.

An in-house union cannot be registered if there is a union at national level that represent the similar trade, establishment or occupation. Section 15(2)(a) Trade Union Act 1959 stated that where two or more registered trade union exist in a particular establishment, trade, occupation or industry, the Director General may cancel the certificate of registration of the trade union or trade unions other than the trade union which has the largest number of membership in the said establishment, trade, occupation and industry as its members.

Creating a non-union environment In general, employees joining a trade union to secure their employment rights. A trade union become a pressure group to the employer. Therefore to create a non-union organization, an employer shall: 1. Offer a good compensation package. 2. Encourage employees to participate and involve in managerial decision making process to portray justice. 3. Always conducting training sessions to enhance employees KSAOs. 4. Building a trust between management and employees. 5. Maintaining safety environment at workplace.

Employers Association Employers also have their right to form or join a trade union subject to Section 2 Trade Union Act 1959. Similar with the objectives of employees trade union, employers associations objectives are 1. Secure their members right. 2. Negotiate with employees trade union. 3. Represent its members in industrial dispute. The rules and regulations in forming and implementing activities for employers association are similar with employees trade union.

Employers who want to form an association have to apply from Director General of Trade Union. The formation of the association has to comply with Section 2 Trade Union Act 1959 where members of the association are from similar establishment, trade and industry. Among the employers associations are: 1. Malaysian Agriculture and Plantation Association (MAPA) 2. Commercial Employers Association of Peninsular Malaysia. 3. Malaysian Commercial Banking Association (MCBA). 4. Association of Insurance Employers.

Union Federation (Congress)

Part XII of Trade Union Act has permitted the establishment and registration of union federation.
Section 72 Trade Union Act 1959 Two or more trade unions in Malaysia whose members are employed in a similar trade, occupation or industry may form or create a federation of trade union by obtaining majority votes taken in a general meeting. The meeting must be noticed to Director General and all members not less than 14 days before the meeting date regarding the proposed resolution to form the federation.

Registration of the Union Federation Section 73 Trade Union Act 1959 1. Every federation of trade union established under S72 of this act must apply to be registered within 1 month from the date on which it was established. 2. Every application for registration shall be signed by the secretary and by seven members. 3. Upon receipt of any such application the Director General shall, if he satisfied that S72 of this act has been fulfilled and the federation is entitled to be registered, register the federation. 4. The Director General shall, if he thinks fit, grant an extension of the period mentioned in subsection 1 extended as to exceed a period of six month in the aggregate.

1. CEUPACS (Congress of Union of Employees in Public and Civil Services) This congress represents trade unions for public/government workers.

It has been registered since 1959.

The objectives of CEUPACS establishments are: 1. To secure members right and maintaining good employment situation. 2. Enhancing collaboration among members. 3. Enhancing the establishment of employment provisions that involve members rights. Membership for CEUPACS involves government workers trade union establish in West Malaysia Secret ballot is performed to accept any new membership in CEUPACS. Normally this secret ballot is conducted in general meeting that been held once in three years.

2. Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC)

This congress is not registered under S 73 Trade Union Act 1959 but it registered under Registrar of Association. Hence, this congress is treated as association of union not a congress of union. MTUC represents private sector employees in National Labor Advisory Council (NLAC) and Employees Provident Fund (EPF). The functions of MTUC are: 1. To become a spoke person for private sector trade unions whom registered as its members at national and international level. 2. Offering training to its members to understand their roles and responsibilities.

MTUC Objectives 1. Giving consultation services to its members. 2. Represents employees in voicing their views and opinions to the government. 3. Represents employees in voicing their views and opinions on national issues. 4. Administrating private sector employee who is not a member of any trade union. 5. Represent Malaysian labor movement in international labor forum. 6. Offering training on handling a trade union. 7. Pursuing researches involving trade union issues.

3. Malaysian Employer Federation (MEF)

As MTUC this federation is registered under the Registrar of Association. MEF is an association encompasses with employer and employer trade union. It represent its members in National Labor Advisory Council (NLAC), Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Employee Social Security (SOCSO) and National Productivity Centre (NPC).

The objectives of MEF are: 1. Securing its members right. 2. Coordinating and representing its members views and opinions on issues relating to labor. 3. Advising and determining employment statutory provisions to its members. 4. Advising its members regarding trade disputes. MEF activities are: 1. Pursuing researches regarding collective bargaining. 2. Examining the level of salary and benefits in order to control consumer price index (CPI). 3. Conducting seminar and training on industrial relations. 4. Advising its members in collective bargaining. 5. Represent its member in Industrial Court. 6. Publishing The Malaysian Employer, a news letter reporting Industrial Court Award and issues regarding trade unionism.