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Trade Union
A union is an organization that represents employees interests to management on issues such as wage negotiation, disciplinary rules and working conditions.
It is an organization which consists wholly or mainly of workers of one or more descriptions.

Historical Background
First emerged in 1920s with the development of estates and mines. 1920s onwards PKM, deliberately set out to develop the labor movement and encouraged unskilled worker to unionize. The aggressive activity of the unions led employers to exert pressure on the colonial government to introduce laws which would curb and restrict the unions. First law relating to trade union were implemented in 1940.

Historical Background
In 1946, two steps in response to increased union activities:
o Trade Union Adviser Department was set up with the appointment of a Registrar of Trade Union. o Trade Union enactment was passed:
All trade union had to be registered. Federation of trade unions could only be formed by unions in the same industry. Union officials had to have been employed for a minimum of 3 years in the industry which they represented.

Intended to limit PKM involvement within the trade unions, restrict their size and power, and to control the union movement. Only 1950s, the union movement was revived.

Elements of Trade Union-ness

1. There is an organization- not just group of individuals. 2. The organizations exists to represents its members to employers, the press, the government and the public. 3. Its primary interests are in the terms and conditions of employment of its members. 4. The organization is not controlled by the employers. 5. The organization is prepared to bargain collectively on behalf of its members with the employers.

Reasons for joining a trade union

Employees join trade unions:
To improve their economic situation To ensure their rights at work are protected For social reasons

Trade Union Objectives

To promote the industrials, social and intellectual interests of its member. To obtain and maintain for its members just and proper rates of remuneration, security of employment and reasonable hours and conditions of work. To promote the material, social and educational welfare of its members. To promote legislation affecting the interests of the members in particulars of trade unionists in general.

Implication of Definition
The legal definition of Trade Union in the Trade Unions:
1. A trade union need not be called a union. 2. Membership of a union is limited to workers working in Peninsular Malaysia, or Sabah or Sarawak. 3. Unions of a general nature are not permitted. 4. Employers and employees both have the right to form and join unions but must be separated from each other. 5. Must conform to all legislative requirements of a trade union.

Membership of a Trade Union

Right To Form and Join Union: IRA section 5
Workers in Malaysia have the right to form and join trade unions (freedom of association).

The workers also have the right not to join a trade.

Membership of a Trade Union

Industrial Relations Act (Section 5) states that:
No employer shall prevent a worker from joining a union by putting a condition in his contract of employment. No employer shall refuse to employ a worker on the grounds he is a trade union member of officer. No employer shall discriminate against a worker (for example in terms of promotion) on the grounds he is a trade union member or officer. No worker shall be threatened with dismissal or dismissal if he proposes to join a trade union or if he participates in union activities.

Membership of a Trade Union

Who Can Join A Union? A person who is above the age of 16 is eligible to apply to join which is relevant to his trade, occupation or industry. Under the age of 18 are restricted in their union activities not entitled to vote on:
Strikes and lock-outs and all related matters The imposition of levy Dissolution of the trade union or of the federation with which it is connected Amendment of the rules of the trade union

Membership of a Trade Union

Under the age of 21 are not eligible to be elected as officers of the union unless:
Bona fide workers Over the age of 18

Public sector can only join unions which represent workers in the same occupation, department, ministry, body or authority. Police, Prison Service, Armed Forces and those in confidential or security work- not allowed to join unions at all. Professional and ,managerial group in the public sector- not allowed to join unions unless they are exempted by the Chief Secretary to the government.

Employers Attitudes to Unions

Conflict or open hostility

Controlled hostility



Creating a Non-union Environment

There are some positive steps to reduce or eliminate the workers from joining unions:
Pay higher wages Give better benefits Involve employees in all levels of decision making and effectively implement an open-door policy Offer training, development and a measure of security of tenure Develop a climate of trust and loyalty in the organization.