Cracks appear in MTUC as Johor chapter slams Sarawak

The Malaysian Trades Union Congress appears divided over recent amendments to the Industrial Relations Act.

PETALING JAYA: Cracks have begun to appear in the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), with the Johor secretary hitting out at his Sarawak counterpart today over the latter’s criticism of the group’s top leadership.

Sarawak MTUC secretary Andrew Lo had accused MTUC president Abdul Halim Mansor and secretary-general J Solomon of imposing their views on members and demanding a consensus before amendments to labour laws are enacted.

This followed the war of words between MTUC and the human resources ministry over amendments to the Industrial Relations Act (IRA) 1967, Employment Act 1955 and Trade Unions Act 1959.

The labour law reforms are being carried out through tripartite consultations involving MTUC, the Malaysian Employers Federation and ministry officials.

Lo said in an interview with Sarawak-based portal DayakDaily that Halim and Solomon, who disagree with the IRA amendments, should lobby the government for improvements instead of totally rejecting them.

In a statement today, Johor MTUC secretary Boscko Augustin urged Lo to accept the decision of the majority.

“We are not running a Sendirian Berhad union,” he added. “Let us remind him that we are running a national labour centre.”

Augustin said MTUC had clarified its stand to all its affiliates who were aware of the damage caused by the IRA amendments. He added that they backed Halim and Solomon in the matter.

“Using the media to defame the leadership of MTUC and to promote his (Lo’s) agenda which was rejected by all the participants of the various labour law reform (LLR) workshops is not the way forward.

“Lo should respect the wishes and confidence of the delegates who elected Halim and Solomon as they are democratically elected because they are capable leaders,” he said.

Augustin added that Lo should not undermine or jeopardise the interests of MTUC affiliates who participated in the LLR workshops.