Strengthening International Labour Standards and Labour Laws in the rubber gloves industry in Malaysia

The workshop on International Labour Standards and Labour Laws in Malaysia aimed to strengthen the capacity of national stakeholders on International Labour Standards and national labour law related to the rubber glove industry in Malaysia.

News | 15 November 2022
The workshop organised by the Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturers’ Association (MARGMA) in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation, through the ILO's Sustainable Supply Chains to Build Forward Better (SSCBFB) project, took place from 8-9 November 2022.

The event brought together around 70 representatives from the government, employers' organizations, workers’ organizations, and other relevant stakeholders with the objective to enhance the capacity of stakeholders on international labour standards as a critical component of responsible business conduct and decent work.

The workshop discussions emphasized as well the issues of forced labor and the recruitment process of migrant workers.

Workshop agenda

Day 1: Opening and topics on decent work, International Labour Standards and Responsible Business Conduct
The workshop started with opening remarks by Mr. A. Maniam, Deputy Secretary-General of the, Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR); Dr. S. Supramaniam, President of the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA ); and Mr. Effendy Abd. Ghani, President of the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC).

The Ministry of Human Resources highlighted the government’s efforts to support and advance decent work in the rubber gloves industry, the National Action Plan on Forced Labour and the work together with employers and workers in advancing decent work especially in industries where Malaysia is in the global supply chain. The government's efforts include addressing and preventing forced labour and fair recruitment, and the objective to become a pathfinder country in Alliance 8.7.

On the other hand, MARGMA remarked the importance to collaborate with the relevant stakeholders in advancing decent work for all, and showcasing the improvements that have taken place.

The Malaysian Trade Union Congress which was invited for the first time to the sectoral employers’ event, mentioned MTUC’s efforts to support workers’ rights in Malaysia, freedom of association, collective bargaining for local and migrant workers, and MTUC’s collaboration with the employers and government to discuss the issues affecting workers including the recent amendments to legislation.

Specialists from the ILO presented on the topics of ‘Decent work and the role of International Labour Standards’ and ‘Responsible and Sustainable Business Practices: a comprehensive approach to protect workers and support business’ followed by a question and answer (Q&A) session. The participants then took part in a focus group discussion on decent work opportunities and challenges in the rubber gloves supply chain.

Day 2: Malaysian labour laws, fundamental principles and rights at work and fair recruitment, and key issues and challenges in the industry
The representative from MOHR spoke about Malaysia’s labour law and recent amendments while the representative from the Ministry of Home Affairs shared on the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (ATIPSOM) Act.

The ILO continued the discussions on the ‘Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work’ and ‘Fair Recruitment Principles and Due Diligence’. Participants discussed a range of issues including on employment, forced labour, recruitment, freedom of association, collective bargaining, discrimination and occupational safety and health (OSH).

During the conclusions of the workshop, MARGMA reiterated its commitment to work with all stakeholders including the government and workers to advance and ensure decent work in the industry, and to promote employment and skills programmes for workers and job seekers.