PETALING JAYA: The new Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) will set up a service centre to reach out to a larger population of workers. Its secretary-general J. Solomon said the yet to be set up centre will play a significant role in serving its affiliates and workers. He said strengthening unity is one of the main aims of the centre as trade unions are the true strength of the workers. "The rapid economic growth did not help the cause of trade unionism and workers and the MTUC were unable to make constructive resistance for the injustice inflicted on workers," he said. Solomon said MTUC needs to take consistent, organised and coordinated positions on all matters affecting workers in the country. He added that the congress must be more effectively organised and MTUC must make genuine efforts to improve in order to bring all trade unions in the country under one umbrella to serve workers better. He pointed out that there are approximately 733 trade unions registered in the country with a total membership of 901,499. He added that 480 are from the private sector, 146 from the government sector and 107 from statutory bodies. "In trade unions, the bigger the membership the stronger the bargaining power for unions to serve the workers. Therefore, there is a dire need for the MTUC to organise more workers for Malaysians to progress," Solomon said. He said in order to address some of the pressing issues, more effective and genuine data collection and representation must be developed through social dialogues. He added that they needed to discuss issues such as labour polices (including policies on foreign workers), labour laws, job security, youth employment, compliance of international labour standards, enforcement, unemployment, review of the education system, skills development for youth and addressing skills mismatch. Solomon said MTUC is willing to work with the government and employers to strengthen the labour market, provide social security and guarantee jobs in building a high income and developed nation.