Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Trade Unions Act 1959.


2. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires or it is otherwise expressly provided—

“Director General” means the Director General of Trade Unions appointed under section 3, and includes a Deputy Director General, a Director, an Assistant Director of Trade Unions, and a Trade Unions Officer, appointed under section 4;

“Director General for Industrial Relations” means Director General as appointed under subsection 2A(1) of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 [Act 177];

“employee”, when used with reference to a trade union or political party means any person who is engaged for hire or reward on a full-time or part-time basis;

“employer” means any person or body of persons, whether corporate or unincorporate, who employs a workman, and includes the Government and any statutory authority;

“establishment” means any place of business or employment belonging to an employer and includes any division or branch thereof;

“executive” means the body, by whatever name called, to which the management of the affairs of a trade union or of any branch thereof is entrusted;

“funds”, when used in relation to the funds of a trade union includes all moneys collected or received by the trade union or any branch thereof from any source, including the proceeds of any investment or other thing done under subsection 49(1);

“Government” means the Federal Government or the Government of a State;

“lock-out” means—

(a) the closing of a place of employment;

(b) the suspension of work; or

(c) the refusal by an employer to continue to employ any number of workmen employed by him, in furtherance of a trade dispute, done with a view to compelling those workmen to accept terms or conditions of or affecting employment;

“Minister” means the Minister charged with responsibility for labour;

“office-bearer”, when used with reference to a political party, means any person who is the president, vice-president, secretary, assistant secretary, treasurer or assistant treasurer of the political party, or who holds any office or position, by whatever name called, which is analogous to any of those mentioned above, or who holds any office or position in the political party whereby he exercises management or control of the affairs of the political party;

“officer”, when used with reference to a trade union, means any member of the executive thereof, but does not include an auditor;

*“Peninsular Malaysia” has the meaning assigned thereto in section 3 of the Interpretation Acts 1948 and 1967 [Act 388], and includes the Federal Territory;

“public officer” means a person in the permanent or temporary employment of any Government in Malaysia;

“register” means the register of trade unions maintained by the Director General under section 7;

“registered office” means that office of a trade union which is registered under this Act as the head office of the trade union; “registered trade union” means a trade union registered under this Act;

“regulations” means regulations made under section 58;

“statutory authority” means any authority or body established, appointed or constituted by any written law, and includes any local authority;

“strike” means the cessation of work by a body of workmen acting in combination, or a concerted refusal or a refusal under a common understanding of a number of workmen to continue to work or to accept employment, and 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;

“trade dispute” means any dispute between an employer and his workmen which is connected with the employment or nonemployment or the terms of employment or the conditions of work of any such workmen;

“trade union” or “union” means any association or combination of workmen or employers, being workmen whose place of work is in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah or Sarawak, as the case may be, or employers employing workmen in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah or Sarawak, as the case may be—

(a) within any particular establishment, trade, occupation or industry or within any similar trades, occupations or industries;

*NOTE—“Federal Territory” refers to the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan are included–see P.U. (A) 274/1984.

(b) whether temporary or permanent; and

(c) having among its objects one or more of the following objects:

(i) the regulation of relations between workmen and employers for the purposes of promoting good industrial relations between workmen and employers, improving the working conditions of workmen or enhancing their economic and social status, or increasing productivity;

(ia) the regulation of relations between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers;

(ii) the representation of either workmen or employers in trade disputes;

(iiA) the conducting of, or dealing with, trade disputes and matters related thereto; or

(iii) the promotion or organization or financing of strikes or lock-outs in any trade or industry or the provision of pay or other benefits for its members during a strike or lock-out;

“trustees” means the trustees appointed under the rules of a registered trade union made in accordance with section 43; “workman” means any person, including an apprentice, employed by an employer under a contract of employment to work for hire or reward and for the purposes of any proceedings in relation to a trade dispute includes any such person who has been dismissed, discharged or retrenched in connection with or as a consequence of that dispute or whose dismissal, discharge or retrenchment has led to that dispute.

(2) For the purposes of the definition of “trade union” in subsection (1) and for the purposes of sections 32, 33, 72 and 74, “similar” means similar in the opinion of the Director General.