Trade Unions in Malaysia are not growing - in fact the number of union membership and trade unions are declining.
Well, when Malaysia is allowing precarious employment like short-term or fixed-term contracts to flourish, and slowly replace regular employment (permanent until retirement), well workers may not have the required to time form and/or register trade unions, or even seek recognition - all processes that takes time ...and short-term contract employees will only be employees of a workplace for a year or less(or maybe slightly more). Even if the work requiring workers still exist, employers more likely to find NEW workers rather than retain existing workers on fixed-term contracts....Malaysian law does not place limits on the number of fixed-term contract workers - when some countries do, limiting them to not more than maybe 5% - thus ensuring workers continue to be employed as regular employees...
Well, Malaysia is allowing workplaces to get their labour force from labour suppliers - they never become employees of the workplace but remain employees of the labour suppliers - the 'contractor for labour system'. Only employees can enjoy the benefit of Collective Bargaining Agreements being agreements between Trade Unions and the Employer. Despite objections from many, including unions, this precarious employment practice is permitted, and again there is no legal restrictions as to the number of such 'supplied workers' that can be used in a particular workplace...
Trade Unions also seem to be simply interested in existing members - and there is very little organising and formation of new trade unions..
As such, the article below may be relevant for Malaysian workers and Trade Unions ...
Keeping workers separated and divided...and weakening of trade unions is what employers want, and Malaysian UMNO-BN government has shown that it is less concerned about workers more concerned about the 'foreign investor' and the employer - Worker and trade union rights have been shrinking since independence...and Trade Unions, even the MTUC, have not been seen actively and aggressively fighting for worker rights in Malaysia...
What is the future of Trade Unions in Malaysia? Why has it become so 'lame' and weak? Is it the leaders? Is it the workers? Or is it true that Trade Unions are simply dying...
Still standing or standing still?
David – or Goliath?
Infighting and image problems
Time to listen
Being the change
We know what we’re against. But what are we for?
Trade unions defend workers against the worst excesses of a free-trade neoliberal global economy. But why stop there? One alliance from the Global South is pushing for a fairer economic world order.
- The Civil Wars in US Labor, Steve Early (Haymarket, 2011). ↩
- ‘Unions Matter’ report, Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights, 2013. ↩
- Why Unions Matter, Michael D Yates, Monthly Review Press, 2009. ↩
- ‘British Unions: resurgence or perdition?’, The Work Foundation, 2005. ↩
- Quote from John J Sweeney in A New Labor Movement for the New Century, ed. Gregory Mantsios, Monthly Review Press, 1998. ↩