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  • Putera Daniel Hakeem

Trade Union policy reforms, a need not a want.

Executive Summary:


  • Decades of export-led growth policies have restricted trade union activities and collective bargaining powers in Malaysia. Deteriorating their role and effectiveness in improving labour conditions and renumeration for workers of all sectors. Thus, this paper aims to provide a few policy amendments to rejuvenate trade union effectiveness.

  • This paper explores the historical processes which have led to the continued suppression of trade unions, first beginning during the communist insurgencies in Peninsular Malaysia from the 1960s to the 1970s. Which contextualizes the key issues identified to be plaguing trade unions: unfair recognition processes, weak institutional tripartism and fragmented collective bargaining.

  • Evaluating trade unionism through a case study of 2 commonwealth nations, Singapore and Australia, provides the necessary foundations for an effective trade union policy by the Malaysian government. Recommendations prescribed as a means to this end are to allow automatic trade union recognition; to have a transparent, credible and accountable tripartite committee; to reduce policy barriers in organising trade unions.



Trade Union reforms, not a want but a need
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