MTUC declines ministry’s help

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 22 Dec 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Human Resources Ministry will provide all assistance to the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) to settle the issue of possible deregistration by the Registrar of Societies (RoS), which the federation of trade unions has dismissed as “publicity”.

Minister M. Kulasegaran said it was very concerned over the possible deregistration of the biggest federation of trade workers in a RoS notice issued on Dec 18 over complaints of mismanagement.

“The MTUC is said to be representing half a million workers in Malaysia and this comes as a great concern.

“Being the main umbrella body for trade unions, MTUC has a historical role in safeguarding the rights of workers in Malaysia. Any prolonged suspension of MTUC will affect workers who have relied on its assistance all this while.

“If MTUC’s leadership is in need of the ministry’s help to reason out matters with RoS or the Home Ministry, our doors are always open,” said Kulasegaran in a statement yesterday.

MTUC had said it had yet to receive the Dec 18 notice from RoS asking for an explanation over the complaints and that it would continue with its activities as usual.

MTUC president Datuk Abdul Halim Mansor said it would handle the issue by itself.

“We will do everything possible to settle the matter. The minister’s offer is more for publicity and MTUC does not think it is sincere,” said Abdul Halim, adding that to date, it had not received any RoS notice.

“MTUC will do all it can to ensure that the oldest organisation set up in 1949 will fight to the end (or) die standing for the sake of the workers,” said Abdul Halim.

Former MTUC president Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud, however, warned against taking such RoS notices lightly.

“If it does get deregistered, the locus standi of MTUC’s representatives at major boards representing workers will become questionable.

“MTUC represents workers at the Industrial Court, Labour Court, Industrial Relations Department as well as in government departments such as the Employees’ Provident Fund, Socso and others.

“The government recently locked horns with MTUC over amendments to the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Bill 2019. This threat to suspend MTUC does not look good on the government,” said Syed Shahir.

The National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) – one of the biggest trade unions under MTUC – called the RoS notice as almost akin to “union busting”.

“MTUC may have only half a million workers as members but it represents the rights of 15 million workers nationwide. Therefore, it cannot be simply suspended,” said NUBE assistant general secretary A. Karuna.

On Dec 20, RoS announced that MTUC had been given 30 days to explain complaints of mismanagement before action would be taken to deregister it in accordance with the Societies Act 1966.

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