IRA to enhance workers right to union — MTUC Sarawak

Andrew Lo

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KUCHING, Dec 20: Malaysia Trade Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak secretary Andrew Lo believed that the passing of the amendments to the Industrial Relations Act 1967 (IRA) was a game changer.

He believed that the newly passed act would give way towards ratification of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 87 which allows workers to join a union.

“This bill is a game changer and pave the way towards ratification of ILO Convention 87 that gives workers the fundamental right to join a union of their choice, amongst many other benefits.

“It will help to propel the way forward towards an equitable industrial relation and empower workers to have better bargaining position to improve terms and conditions of employment.”

Lo said the new Act would in turn, facilitate a high income, high productivity workforce where employers would have to invest in innovation and smarter human resources management and manpower planning, instead of forever relying on low-skilled foreign workers.

“It will increase their (employers’) competitiveness in a global economy,” said Lo in a statement today.

He said Sarawak would still face stiff challenges ahead, and he called on like-minded employer groups and union leadership to join MTUC to work together to push the country forward to become one with international standards.

“Self-serving workers’, leaders’ and employers’ representatives who want to continue to cling on to the previous self-defeating and dysfunctional system should have the decency to respect and support the will and supremacy of Parliament.

“Otherwise, if they have any dignity left, they should resign,” said Lo.

IRA was passed in Parliament last October and was endorsed by the Senate recently. —DayakDaily