TAPAH: The entire world recognises the culture of having more than one union in a single workplace, says Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

The Human Resources Minister said only Malaysia was still lagging behind in this.

“It is a good effort and a global culture recognised by the International Labour Organisation.

“If we look at existing unions and their membership, even though there are 15 million workers, not even 10% are members.

“We (need to) open up so that more workers can join unions,” he told a press conference after attending a Deepavali open house at Arena Merdeka here yesterday.

Parliament had on Oct 5 approved the Trade Unions (Amendment) Bill 2022, which allows more than one union to be formed in a single workplace.

The Coalition Against Multiplicity of Unions (Camu) criticised the amendment, saying it would lessen the voice and power of negotiation when unions are splintered.

Saravanan said it was not just his decision alone in approving and amending the Bill.

He said all MPs in the Dewan Rakyat had agreed to the amendment, adding, “Maybe this matter has been politicised.”

On a separate matter, the MIC deputy president said Barisan Nasional leaders or members who have been dropped from contesting in the 15th General Election should always work for the best interest of the coalition.

He said while he understood that there would be some leaders who would be unhappy, they still needed to adhere to party policies.

“It is nothing new. Some will be angry and sulk, but after a few days, they will come back. If I am dropped, I will sulk too, but I have to accept it,” he added.

The incumbent MP for Tapah said there were no permanent candidates for seats.

“There will come a time when we need to make way for someone else,” he said.