With the publication of the text of the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) would like to invite the Minister of Human Resources and the Minister of Trade and Industry to a dialogue session.
A dialogue is deemed as important as there should be transparency concerning the TPPA, given its wide-reaching consequences to workers and the trade union movement. It is inconceivable as to how the government can enter into such an agreement without even so much as a discussion with the MTUC. There ought to have been dialogue with the public and civil society organizations through the course of negotiations.
The language of the section on “Labor” seems to exclude and minimize the presence of trade unions. It does seem obvious that where it concerns business and investments, the prescriptions are more definitive and while on labor issues, it is vague.
Why aren’t there protection and promotion of trade union organization and activities? Where there is internationalization of business, there is no argument for there to be curbs on the internationalization of trade unions. While the movement of goods and services are made easier between countries, why not make forming unions easier as well? Would the regulatory impediments such as the arbitrary powers conferred upon the Director-General of Trade Unions be removed?
The MTUC is prepared to openly discuss the matter with the Malaysian government. The Minister of Human Resources and the Minister of Trade and Industry should accept such an invitation, in the interest of the Malaysian people.
There is a real concern that we would be surrendering our rights to be the masters in our own home. Foreign corporations should not be allowed to impose their will on sovereign nations.
In the interest of our future generations, let us seriously and comprehensively evaluate the TPPA before we submit ourselves to it.