PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has no objection to foreign workers holding posts in labour unions as long as the democratic process is adhered.
MTUC secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam said currently, the Trade Unions Act allows foreign workers to be members of unions but does not allow them to hold positions.
With the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), the Government will have to “liberalise” the Trade Unions Act, Industrial Relations Act and the Employment Act, said Gopal.
This would enable foreigners to hold positions in the unions.
“What matters is whether they can serve the membership or not. If someone can serve the membership, then why not?” he told The Star Online Sunday.
“At the end of the day, we must have a democratic process. If the majority of the members decide to elect someone, no one should interfere,” he said.
Senator Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam had on Thursday said that foreign workers should not be allowed to hold any post in labour unions.
He expressed concern that if foreign workers were allowed to lead labour unions, they might sabotage companies by asking workers to protest.
According to Gopal, the labour chapter in the TPPA “looks good” but what mattered was the enforcement and implementation of laws.
“I always say that Malaysian labour laws in paper looks very good, but when it comes to implementation, that is where we see setbacks. We will have to wait and see if the Government strictly follows it or not,” he added.