Malaysia is one of Asia's biggest employers of foreign labour. But recently, cases of deaths, abuse and forced labour have come to light. What is going on? Who is protecting these migrant workers?
A Trade union is the basic organisation of the workers, by the workers and for the workers designed to improve the workers’ economic and other interest within the framework of employee-employer relationship.
It is their collective action :
(a) to defend their rights against the capitalist and its agents.
(b) to strengthen their bargaining power.
(c) to protect and advance their economic interest against the capitalist whose interest is to safeguard and increase the profits they appropriate from the workers.
(d) replacing individual action and self-centerness while developing and strengthening their conciousness and unity.
(e) where everyone, ordinary members as well as elected officials, has the responsibilty to work for the advancement of the union.
Hence a Trade Union has three fundamental roles, each of which is equally important and are inter-related to one another.
First: Economic role: (Economical)
* Deals with the welfare of the workers and their families.
* Struggles for fair wages taking in consideration the years of experience, standards of living and cost of living.
* Other benefits like sick leave, maternity leave, annual leave, study leave for trade union courses.
* retirement benefit, health and safety, medical attention and hospitalisation etc.
Second : Social and Cultural role : (Cultural)
* To part take in the development and progress of the socio-political affairs of the community and society.
* To develop a workers culture involving solidarity, understanding, cooperativism and compassion for one another at the workplace and the community at large.
* To encourage worker education and networking.
Third : Workers and Human Rights role:(Political)
* To make participartory decision making process as an integral part of trade unionism. Permanent and democratic.
* To strive for equality and justice at the workplace and society at large. Advocacy and legal protection.
* To struggle against all forms of exploitation, harassment, intimidation, victimisation and discrimination based on race, religion, sex, age and social status.
The labour movement or (trade) unionism is the collective action and struggle of the workers for their economic demands, political rights and cultural and social well being.
Address: Wisma MTUC,10-5, Jalan USJ 9/5T, 47620 Subang Jaya,Selangor | Tel: 03-80242953 | Fax: 03-80243225 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org