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TAPAH: The amendments to the Trade Unions Act 1959 were not aimed at suppressing the Trade Union, but rather to increase the number of trade unions in the country, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M.Saravanan.

At the same time, he said it would open up more opportunities for workers to join any union of their choice for their benefit.

“Just look at the membership of the existing trade unions. Even though there were 15 million workers, but not even 10 per cent of them are members (of these unions).

“Maybe there were some betrayals and other cases, that’s why we want to increase the number of unions that employees can join.

“This is a good effort and an international culture known through the International Labour Organisation,” he told reporters after attending a Deepavali Open House and presenting Deepavali goodies for persons with disabilities and single mothers, here today.

Saravanan, who is also the MIC deputy president, said the Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill 2022, was unanimously passed before the Parliament was dissolved last month.

In a statement, the Coalition Against Multiplicity of Unions (CAMU) chairman Rudy Rusly claimed the amendment to the Act showed that Saravanan and his deputy Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique had betrayed the trust of 15 million workers to the extent of weakening the Trade Union.

On Oct 5, Dewan Rakyat passed the bill which aims to allow more than one union to be formed in a single workplace and to increase the membership of trade unions.

Saravanan in his winding-up speech at the Dewan Rakyat said that the diversity of trade unions is expected to have a positive impact, especially on workers, besides giving workers the freedom to join or establish unions according to their own choice. - Bernama