INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT, 1967
The Industrial Relations system in the country operates within the legal framework of the Industrial Relations Act, 1967 and the Industrial Relations Regulations, 1980, which is applicable throughout Malaysia. The preamble to the Industrial Relations Act has this to say : To provide for the regulation of the relations between employers and workmen and their trade unions, and the prevention and settlement of any differences or disputes arising from their relationship and generally to deal with trade disputes and matters arising therefrom. The Act is self-contained. It replaces all previous legislation pertaining to industrial relations but continue to encourage democratic self-government in industry by providing safeguards to legitimate rights, prerogatives and interest of workmen and employers and their trade unions, as well as ensuring the speedy and just settlement of trade disputes, so as not to prejudice public and national interests. A synopsis of the Act are explained below : Part I of the Industrial Relations Act sets out the definitions of some of the terms used therein. Of particular importance is the definition of strike which includes any act or omission by a body of workmen acting in combination or under a common understanding, which is intended to or does result in any limitation, restriction, reduction or cessation of or dilatoriness in the performance or execution of the whole or any part of the duties connected with their employment. Part II relates to the rights of workmen and employers and their trade unions and prohibition on workmen, employers and their trade in respect of certain acts such as anti-trade union activity, victimisation and other unfair labour practices. Any complaint of any contravention of this Part of the Act may be lodged in writing to the Director General of Industrial Relations who may take such steps as he deems necessary to resolve the complaint. Where it is not resolved he shall notify the Minister, who if he thinks fit may refer the complaint to the Industrial Court for hearing. Section 6 makes it obligatory on the part of an employer to grant a workman leave of absence of a reasonable period for the performance of his duties as a trade union officer; and the employer is further obliged to grant such leave with pay if the workman's absence is to represent the members of his trade union on matters concerning his employer. Part III deals with the question of recognition of trade unions. It provides the basic procedure to be followed in the determination of a claim for recognition. Under this Part, a workmen's union may not seek recognition in respect of workmen employed in managerial, executive, confidential or security capacities, if the majority of its membership consists of workmen not employed in any of these capacities. If the claim is not otherwise resolved, it may be reported in writing to the Director General who may take such steps as he may consider necessary to resolve the matter. For this purpose he is vested with power under Sec. 4B to require the trade union of workmen, the employer or the trade union of employers to furnish information necessary and may also seek the Director General of Trade Unions' decision on the competence of the trade union to represent the workmen in respect of whom recognition is sought. Where the matter is not resolved the Director General shall notify the Minister for a decision, which may include a decision as to who are workmen employed in a managerial, executive, confidential or security capacity. A decision of the Minister under this Part shall be final and shall not be questioned in any court. This Part also prohibits :
• workmen from going on strike or picket for whatever reason during the pendency of proceedings under this Part or after the decision of the Minister by reason of any dissatisfaction with such decision. • employer from declaring a lock-out or dismissing a workmen (except...
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