Read 5. INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS ACT 1967 text version


(Ayadurai, D. (1998); D'Cruz, M.N. (2003)

Introduction · Protection of rights of workmen and employers and their trade unions · Recognition and scope of representation of trade union · Collective bargaining and collective agreement · Conciliation · Representation and dismissals · Cases


PART II (Sections 3-8A) (pp. 2-5) of the IRA 1967 3. Expression of "trade union". - an association that has applied to be registered as a trade union. 4. Rights of workmen and employers. - No interference, restraint or coercion on a workman or employer to exercise rights to form or join a trade union and to engage in its lawful activities; - no interference between workmen's union and employers' union in their separate establishment, functioning or administration; - no employer or employers' union or their agents can give financial or other support to any workmen's union to subject them to control or influence. 5. Prohibition on employers and their trade unions in respect of certain acts. - A contract of employment cannot restrict the right of an employee to join a union or continue his union membership; - cannot refuse to employ an individual on the ground of being a member/officer or non-member of a union;


- cannot discriminate against such person for employment, promotion, or any employment or working condition(s); - cannot subject any workman to duress for - entering or persuading others to enter as members of a union, - promoting, forming or participating in union activities - cannot induce or offer advantage for a person not to be a union member/officer. - However, employer is permitted to - refuse to employ, promote, suspend, transfer, lay-off, or discharge a workman for just cause; - require a person upon appointment of promotion to a managerial position to stop or not become a member/officer of a union for workmen, other than for a union for those in managerial positions; - require any workman performing confidential or staff relations not to join any union.


6. Leave on trade union business. - a union officer shall apply for paid leave of absence from his employer on union business indicating the period and purpose of the leave, and the employer shall approve the leave application. Prohibition on workmen and their trade unions in respect of certain acts. - A workman or union or union's agent, without the employer's consent, cannot - persuade a workman at the work setting to join or refrain from joining a union; - force any person to be or not to be a member/officer of a union; - influence any person to be or not to be a union member/officer by offering some advantage to the said person. Reference of complaint to Industrial Court. - Any complaint for not meeting the requirements of sections 4, 5, or 7 may be reported to the DGIR in written form; - the DGIR may act on the complaint, refer to the Minister or to the IC for hearing; - the IC shall hold a hearing and make an appropriate award. Employer may provide information on collective bargaining and trade dispute to his workmen. - The employer is not prevented from communicating with his workmen on matters pertaining to collective bargaining or trade dispute.





PART III (Sections 9-12) (pp. 8-12) of the IRA 1967 9. Claim for recognition. - Implies a blue-collar employees union has majority of membership among employees not employed in managerial/executive/confidential/security capacity; - implies a white-collar employees union consists of membership among employees employed outside the blue-collar category; - a blue-collar employees union cannot seek recognition for a white collar employees union, and vice-versa; - any dispute on whether an employee is employed in managerial/executive/ confidential /security capacity may be referred to the DGIR for resolution, failing which the DGIR is required to notify the Minister of Human Resources (MHR) for decision which is final; - a union may send a written claim for recognition to an employer/union of employers; - an employer/union of employers, within 21 days of receipt of claim shall - give recognition/not give recognition in writing/ apply to the DGIR to check the circumstances;


- union, upon receipt of written non-recognition may report the matter to the DGIR, who shall take action failing which the MHR is notified for decision which is final. 10. Prohibition of strike, lock-out, picketing and termination of service pending recognition of a trade union. - Once a claim for recognition is served - the employer cannot declare a lock-out, dismiss any employee except on disciplinary grounds; - the employees cannot picket/go on strike; - no other union can claim for recognition for the said employees. - If the union's claim is successful, no other union can make a similar claim for 3 years; - if the union's claim is unsuccessful, the union is only permitted to forward another claim for the said employees after 6 months from the date of resolution or decision.


PART IV (Sections 13-17) (pp. 12-16) of the IRA 1967 13. Collective bargaining. 14. Collective Agreements. 15. Restrictions on collective agreements in certain new undertakings. - Collective agreement relevant to this section - shall not contain more favourable terms and conditions of service to workmen as stated in EA 1955 (Part XII), unless approved by the MHA; - is entered into between employer and union with respect to - a pioneer company granted pioneer status under Promotion and Investments Act 1986 (Section 6); - any industry as gazetted by the Minister; - This restriction is applicable for 5 years from commencement or operation in Malaysia; - The Minister is empowered to extend such period(s) by notification in the Gazette. 16. Deposit of collective agreements. 17. Effect of collective agreement.


PART V (Sections 18-19B) (pp. 16-19) of the IRA 1967 18. Reference of disputes for conciliation. - Any unresolved dispute may be reported to the DGIR by an employer or a union of workmen; - the DGIR shall consider any reported dispute and take appropriate action for settlement. A dispute considered by the DGIR to be unlikely for resolution through negotiation by both parties will take appropriate action for settlement whether or not the dispute was reported to him. Reference for settlement of the dispute shall be made to any suitable machinery which already exists as indicated in the collective agreement. - If the DGIR deems that the trade dispute is unlikely to be settled, this matter is notified to the MHR. 19. Information, documents and compulsory conference for conciliation. - All relevant information on the dispute, areas where agreement was reached and areas in disagreement shall be given to the DGIR, may direct the parties concerned to attend a conference presided by him or his appointee. 19A. The Minister may conciliate in any trade dispute. - This action may be taken by the Minister at any time considered appropriate. 19B. Representation in conciliation proceedings. - Each party to the dispute can represent themselves, be represented by their employees, or by any official from an organisation of employers/organisation of workmen.


PART VI (Section 20) (pp. 19 and 20) in the IRA 1967 20. Representation on dismissals. - Written representations by the employee to the DGIR is for reinstatement to former employment; - such representations should be made within 60 days of the dismissal; - the DGIR may act, or notify the Minister who may refer the representations to the Court for an award. - Representation in any dispute proceedings are similar to the requirements in Section 19B. Other than the conditions in this section, a workman or employer shall not be represented by an advocate, adviser, consultant or any other person. - The DGIR may require the parties involved in the dispute to furnish the necessary information and/or attend a conference under similar requirements in Section 19. CASES Selected cases on disputed issues relevant to the IRA 1967 will be referred to.


· Protection of rights of workmen and employers and their trade unions · Recognition and scope of representation of trade union · Collective bargaining and collective agreement · Conciliation · Representation and dismissals · Cases



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