Only when officers of companies who engage in union busting activities are charged in court as a deterrent measure can there be hope that such activities which are essentially human rights abuses will stop, according to the Social Protection Contributors’ Advisory Association Malaysia (SPCAAM).
“Once a claim for union recognition is made, a membership verification exercise should be conducted and where a union has a simple majority of workers as their members, that union should be accorded recognition by law,” SPCAAM’s international labour advisor Callistus Antony D’angelus pointed out in a media statement.
“It should also be enshrined in legislation that the process should not take more than ninety days.”
D’angelus said there should be only one union representing the same class of workers in any one company. Allowing for a multiplicity of unions representing the same class of workers is another form of union busting, and one which institutionalises union busting in the country.
“Many companies are also brazenly encouraging workers to refrain from joining unions and yet enjoy the benefits of what unions obtain through their struggle,” he revealed.
“The law should be amended to prevent non-union members from enjoying benefits similar to union members as this is again another form of union busting. Some government-linked companies are famed for such forms of union-busting activities.”
In a related development, D’angelus said Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar should also encourage the Cabinet to restore the bargaining rights for all public sector unions. “At present, public sector unions are lame duck unions and this should change if the government is really serious about restoring the dignity of workers,” he opined.
Elsewhere, the use of contract and foreign workers by employers to prevent unionisation should be stringently regulated.
“The use of contract workers should be made illegal except for situations where the nature of the job is genuinely for a fixed duration,” insisted D’angelus, adding that foreign workers must have all the same rights as Malaysian workers where it concerns the right to form and join a trade union.
“It is not difficult for such changes to be made which will be in the interest of workers and the country more generally,” he reckoned.
“It takes political will but with the intent of (Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim’s government to upgrade the living standards of Malaysians, it is time to be serious, honest and act with urgency and integrity” – May 3, 2023
Source : https://focusmalaysia.my/time-to-bust-employers-with.../