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Working in a chemical industry, Malaysia. © Shutterstock

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (ILO News) – Trade unionists supporting efforts to green Malaysia’s chemical and pharmaceutical industry have elaborated future courses of action to continue contributing to a safe, secure and sustainable environment, society and workplaces.

Representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations, private enterprises and the Ministry of Human Resources of Malaysia took part in a workshop entitled ‘Green Jobs and Just Transition in the Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry in Malaysia’ in Kuala Lumpur on 10-11 May 2023.

In all, 26 participants, including unionists from the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), Chemical Workers Union of Malaya (CWUM), as well as representatives from the Malaysian Empoyers’ Federation (MEF), Ministry of Human Resources of Malaysia and environmental action community groups learned from the experiences and lessons of the trade unions and enterprises involved in the ILO’s project “Making Just Transition Work through Stronger Workers’ Organizations in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries” implemented from February 2022 to May 2023.

In his opening remarks, MTUC president Effendy Abdul Ghani praised the contributions of the Malaysian chemical industry to the local economy, and the job opportunitites it provides to over 400,000 Malaysians. He commended the efforts taken by the Malaysian Government to address climate change, highlighting the ‘Energy Transition Roadmap’, expected to be finalized in June 2023. He called for equally ambitious efforts to ensure that such roadmaps take into account issues of concern for workers.

“As trade unions and workers’ organizations, we must anticipate these changes and ensure our needs and concerns are represented as much as possible,” he said.

He concluded by commending the project that brought together different stakeholder groups, and hoped it could be a springboard for further progress in pursuing a Just Transition in Malaysia.

Eric Roeder, ILO Technical Specialist on Green Jobs and Just Transition, emphasized that Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster-stricken region. A just transition toward environmental sustainability, in particular for the chemical and pharmaceutical industry is very important. “The project successfully achieved its objectives by advocating the concept of just transition in the chemical sector,” he added.

The first day of the workshop involved a site visit to the headquarters of the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Corporation (MGTC). The site visit aimed to enchance awareness of participants of the agency, share with MGTC representatives information about the ILO-MTUC project on Just Transition, Green Jobs, and to gain insights from MGTC on their role in driving Malaysia’s efforts towards Green Growth, Climate Change Mitigation and Green Lifestyle.

The project aimed to empower workers’ organizations on the ILO Guidelines for a just transition and encourage them to launch campaigns for safe, secure and sustainable environment, society and workplaces. The Guidelines recommend nine policy areas, which can help countries manage the transition towards low-carbon economies. The nine policies include macro economic and growth policy, industrial and sectoral policy, enterprises, skills development, occupational safety and health, social protection, active labour market, rights, and social dialogue.

The workshop was the conclusion of a series of collaborative activities with the MTUC, undertaken by the ILO project, funded by the ILO-Japan partnership programme.

Source of original article: Press releases from ILO in Asia and the Pacific (
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