Consultation meeting on reforming the 1955 Employment Act

Original article : IndustriALL Global Union

A consultation meeting on reforming Malaysia’s Employment Act of 1955 was co-organised by IndustriALL and the Decent Work Working Group on 9 December.

The meeting was organised in response to an announcement by the Minister of Human Resources, YB M. Kulasegaran, that Malaysia’s government will make changes to the Employment Act 1955, set to be tabled in Parliament in March 2019.

The meeting participants came from a broad background; there were 48 unionists from 31 unions, three participants from global unions BWI, UNI and PSI, one from MTUC, twelve from different NGOs, as well as a Member of Parliament.

Among the important amendments discussed were contractor for labour abolishment, 98 days maternity leave, seven days paternity leave, 40-hour working week, improved retirement benefits, decreasing maximum overtime hours from 104 hours to 64 hours.

The meeting decided on an action plan:

  • Completing document of demands by the end of December 2018
  • Meeting with Minister of MOHR first week of January 2019
  • Sending a delegation to Parliament in March 2019

A task force was set up to carry on the work, consisting of Bruno Periera, EIEU WR, Irene Xavier, PSWS Women’s Friends of Selangor, Yap Hwa, Monitoring Sustainability Globalisation, Somah Sundram, PPPMEU, Norazlan Yaacob, Timber Employees Union, Ikmal Thanaraj, Seafarers Union, Nor Hayati Abd Rasid, Malayan Nurses Union, Matkar Siwang, Food Industry Employees Union, Prabakarun K., former IRO for Non-Metallic Union.

Brother Zairol Akmar Haron, co-chair of IndustriALL Malaysian Council opened the meeting, which was then officiated by Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor, president of MTUC. Brother Saharuddin Adnan, IndustriALL coordinator for Malaysia facilitated the meeting. Brother Bruno Periera and Brother Gopal Kishnam moderated the whole meeting.