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Trade Unions Act 1959, Page 4

PART IV - RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES OF TRADE UNIONS

Disabilities of unregistered union

20. A trade union shall not enjoy any of the rights, immunities or privileges of a registered trade union unless it is registered.

Immunity from civil suit in certain cases

21. No suit or other legal proceeding shall be maintainable in any civil court against any registered trade union or any officer or member thereof in respect of any act done in contemplation or in furtherance of a trade dispute to which a member of the trade union is a party on the ground only that such act induces some other person to break a contract of employment, or that it is an interference with the trade, business or employment of some other person or with the right of some other person to dispose of his capital or of his labour as he wills.

Liability in tort

22. (1) A suit against a registered trade union or against any members or officers thereof on behalf of themselves and all other members of the trade union in respect of any tortious act alleged to have been committed by or on behalf of the trade union shall not be entertained by any court.

(2) Nothing in this section shall affect the liability of a trade union or any trustee or officers thereof to be sued in any court touching or concerning the specific property or rights of a trade union or in respect of any tortious act arising substantially out of the use of any specific property of a trade union except in respect of an act committed by or on behalf of the trade union in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute.

Liability in contract

23. Every registered trade union shall be liable on any contract entered into by it or by an agent acting on its behalf: Provided that a trade union shall not be so liable on any contract which is void or unenforceable at law.

Objects in restraint of trade not unlawful in case of registered trade union

24. The objects of a registered trade union shall not, by reason only that they are in restraint of trade be deemed to be unlawful so as to render any member of such trade union liable to criminal prosecution for conspiracy or otherwise or to render void or voidable any agreement or trust.

Proceedings by and against trade unions

25. (1) A registered trade union may sue and be sued and be prosecuted under its registered name.

(2) An unregistered trade union may be sued and prosecuted under the name by which it has been operating or is generally known.

(3) A trade union whose registration has been cancelled or withdrawn may be sued and prosecuted under the name by which it was registered.

(4) Execution for any money recovered from a trade union in civil proceedings may issue against any property belonging to or held in trust for the trade union other than the benevolent fund of a registered trade union.

(5) Any fine ordered to be paid by a trade union may be recovered by distress and sale of any movable property belonging to or held in trust for the trade union in accordance with any written law relating to criminal procedure.

(6) In any civil or criminal proceedings in which a registered trade union is a party such trade union may appear in such proceedings by anyone of its officers or by an advocate and solicitor.

Strikes and lock-outs

25A. (1) No trade union of workmen shall call for a strike, and no member thereof shall go on strike, and no trade union of employers shall declare a lock-out—

(a) in the case of a trade union of workmen, without first obtaining the consent by secret ballot of at least twothirds of its total number of members who are entitled to vote and in respect of whom the strike is to be called; and in the case of a trade union of employers, without first obtaining by secret ballot the consent of at least twothirds of its total number of members who are entitled to vote;

(b) before the expiry of seven days after submitting to the Director General the results of such secret ballot in accordance with subsection 40(5);

(c) if the secret ballot for the proposed strike or lock-out has become invalid or of no effect by virtue of subsection 40(2),(3), (6) or (9);

(d) in contravention of, or without complying with, the rules of the trade union;

(e) in respect of any matter covered by a direction or decision of the Minister given or made in any appeal to him under this Act; or

(f) in contravention of, or without complying with, any other provision of this Act or any provision of any other written law.

(2) Any trade union which, and every member of its executive who, commences, promotes, organizes or finances any strike or lock-out which is in contravention of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand ringgit, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both, and a further fine of one hundred ringgit for every day during which such offence continues.

(3) Any member of a trade union of workmen who commences, participates in, or otherwise acts in furtherance of, any strike which is in contravention of subsection (1) shall forthwith cease to be a member of the trade union, and thereafter such member shall not be eligible to become a member of any trade union except with the prior approval of the Director General in writing; and the trade union of which he has so ceased to be a member shall forthwith—

(a) remove the name of such member from its membership register;

(b) inform the Director General and the member concerned of such removal; and

(c) exhibit conspicuously in its registered office in a place where it may be easily read a list of members whose names are so removed.

(4) The Director General may, where he is satisfied that subsection (1) has been contravened by any person and the trade union concerned has failed to carry out the provisions of subsection (3), or where there is undue delay in so doing, after such investigation as he deems necessary, order the trade union to remove forthwith the names of the members concerned from its membership register.

(5) The satisfaction of the Director General under subsection (4) that subsection (1) has been contravened by any person may be arrived at regardless as to whether or not there is any prosecution of any person for contravention of the said subsection(1).

(6) Any registered trade union which, and every member of its executive who, fails to comply with subsection (3) or with an order of the Director General under subsection (4) shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand ringgit, and a further fine of one hundred ringgit for every day during which such offence continues.

(7) In every proceedings for an offence under this section the onus of proving that the requirements specified in subsection (1) have been complied with shall be on the trade union, the member of its executive or the member of the trade union, as the case may be.

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