A study of trade union effectiveness in Malaysia

Eden, Dzulzalani (2017) A study of trade union effectiveness in Malaysia. Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis, Cyberjaya. ISBN 9789671160275

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Abstract

This study aimed to assess the role of trade unions in the Malaysian industrial relations system. This study has identified many important results from the analysis carried out in the aspects of trade unions effectiveness and the perception of the trade union members on the implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). In addition, the study has also performed benchmarking exercise to determine the current state of trade unionism in Malaysia in comparison with ten other countries in the Asia Pacific, Europe and America regions. The results showed that the trade union density in Malaysia is relatively low compared to other countries particularly when compared with developed nations. Overall, the general trend globally indicates a decline in the movement. In the context of Malaysia, no clear association between economics factors and trade union density was found in this study, which confirmed the findings of past studies in which economic factors alone are not the main influence of trade unions density. Conversely, this study found that the rate of trade union density in Malaysia was also influenced by the economic structure, legislation and government policy. Three important aspects that influence the effectiveness of the trade unions organization as identified in this study are communication and union power, management-union relations as well as union's understanding of the employer's business. Communication and union power was found to be relatively more dominant among the three factors. The analysis also showed that trade unions members perceived that in-house union is more effective than the national union. Both unions were found to differ meaningfully in some aspects of trade union organization and union delivery effectiveness. This finding also supports the development of trade unionism movement currently taking place in the developed and high-income economies in which in-house unions is increasingly favored over the national union. In general, an understanding among members of the trade unions regarding the TPPA is still low. The findings showed that the information relating to the TPPA did not reach the target group. Hence, this has contributed to the low levels of understanding among the members of trade unions. While in terms of readiness for the implementation of TPPA, the findings showed that trade union members were concerns about the significant changes that would occur following its implementation. Four key major issues raised by trade union members were the element of foreign nationality, membership structure, the principle of freedom of association as well as the uncertainty on the impact of the implementation of the TPPA. These were also shared among employers during the focus group discussions. Malaysia’s trade union was also benchmarked with ten countries from the regions of Asia Pacific, Europe and America. The five elements used in this benchmarking exercise include: current economic development; legal framework of trade unionism; trade unions and political affiliations; trade unions philosophies, structures and organizations; as well as roles, functions and services offered by trade unions. The outcomes of the analysis were summarized in two continuums in which Malaysia’s positions were found to be less favorable relative to most of the countries benchmarked. The results also showed that the trade union movement in Malaysia is still considered conventional in terms of trade union membership structure, services provided to members, and is considered being quite independent from the political movement of the country. This is in contrasts with other developed countries which have a more open trade unions membership structure as well as offering wider and more comprehensive services to their members.

Item Type: Book
Uncontrolled Keywords: trade union, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Centre for Academic Information Services
Depositing User: Eden
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2018 07:23
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2021 04:43
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/19126

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