Wednesday, December 09, 2009

26(1A) of the Trade Unions Act 1959 must be repealed immediately to protect the human rights of workers..

Why unionize? Why form a union...join a union?

The reason for this is so that workers can unite as one, and negotiate and claim better rights with regard their employer.

The reason for this is so that workers can support one another, especially when one of the workers fall victim to acts of the employer... including being terminated wrongfully by the employer.

It is in these occasions that the worker seeks the support of the union.

But, somehow the Malaysian government has a bad law that leaves the worker all alone when he most need the support and help of his/her fellow workers, i.e. his/her trade union.

Employer terminates the worker wrongfully..... and the law says that he is no more part of the trade union, and hence it shackles unions from coming to the assistance of this worker. How can this be....

That bad law must be repealed to protect the human rights of workers in Malaysia...
To aggravate matters, retrenched unionised workers, when they most need the assistance of their unions, become no longer members of the union by a bad law that being section 26(1A) of the Trade Unions Act 1959, which states, 'No person shall join, or be a member of, or be accepted or retained as a member by, any trade union if he is not employed or engaged in any establishment, trade, occupation or industry in respect of which the trade union is registered…'.
The law is certainly and is anti-worker.

The terminated worker should continue to be a member of the union until any or all disputes surrounding his termination is resolved.

Maybe, the worker should be allowed to continue being a member of the union for so long as he continues to pay his union dues...

This will also allow workers retrenched/terminated  to stand together and fight as one for their rights...

A worker may lose his/her job.... and may be looking for another...most likely in the same sector/trade - and he/she should still be allowed to be part of the union. The right to terminate any worker's membership should be with the unions itself. Termination of membership should only be done when there is, no more pending claim, suit, action, dispute, appeal, etc  between the said worker and his/her previous employer, AND (b) the worker has failed to pay his/her membership  dues.

The current section 26(1A) is so easily taken advantage of by the employer. All he needs to do is terminate any worker (including local union leadership), and automatically that worker is no more part of the union, and thereafter the union is shackled from coming to the aid of the worker. [Of course some unions will continue helping their former member - assisting him in his claims, paying for the lawyers, etc - but others will just follow the law, and wash their hands leaving the now 'former worker' out in the cold to fend for himself....and naturally most workers on their own stands at a great disadvantage against employers. They may not have the funds/resources to mount a serious challenge against a violation of their worker rights...

Repeal section 26(1A) of the Trade Unions Act 1959

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