The government has finished drafting the city’s first-ever trade union bill, which is aimed at safeguarding and promoting workers’ rights and benefits.
Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon said the bill will be submitted to the Legislative Assembly in due course for debate, review and vote.
Cheong underlined that the government has drafted its trade union bill after studying the opinions and suggestions gathered during a 45-day public consultation, which was carried out in late 2021, while referencing the relevant legal systems in a number of neighbouring countries and regions, and considering the city’s current social situation, including the setting-up and operations of the city’s existing trade unions and other associations representing various types of employees.
Article 27 of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Basic Law stipulates that Macao residents shall have the right and freedom to form and join trade unions, and to strike.
According to Cheong, the bill clearly stipulates that the objective of a trade union should be to safeguard and promote workers’ rights and benefits.
The bill proposes to regulate the composition and registration of trade unions, and federations of trade unions, as well as regulate the functions and powers of trade unions.
In addition, Cheong said, the bill also covers official requirements for serving as administrators of a trade union.
Cheong said that the bill proposes to regulate the rights and obligations of trade unions. The bill proposes that trade unions will have certain functions and powers such as assisting in the resolution of labour disputes, and negotiating with employers about employment conditions.
However, according to Cheong, the bill proposes that trade unions will be barred from engaging in any activities that endanger public order or public health, or adversely affect the continuous functioning of public or emergency services.
Cheong said that the bill proposes that employees’ rights to form and join trade unions should be protected. The bill stipulates employees’ freedom to form, join and quit trade unions, as well as to participate in activities organised by trade unions, The Macau Post Daily reported.