The Future and Challenges of the Trade Union Movement in Malaysia

By  Nagiah Ramasamy

The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of trade union development in the recent past, examine the current state of affairs and prospects for trade unionism in the future, in Malaysia. This paper examines the changing business environment and the challenges confronting the labour movement. The role of trade unionism in Malaysia is that of state-employer dominated model (Kuruvilla and Venkataratnam, 1996), which could explain the low trade union density, low trade union participation and related problems such as union formation, union recognition, union influence and union busting. This paper does not purport to address all issues affecting trade unions in Malaysia.

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