MEMORANDUM CALLING FOR AN END OF ALL FORMS OF UNION BUSTING AND VIOLATION OF WORKER RIGHTS
A disturbing ‘UNION BUSTING’ trend is immerging, whereby employers have been terminating, suspending and taking disciplinary actions against TRADE UNION leaders and members, and workers involved in legitimate TRADE UNION and worker activities.
1. For picketing in front of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) on the issue of worker future welfare and rights, which the Union saw as being impeded by the current President of KTMB, KTMB terminated the Railway Union Malaysia (RUM) President (Abdul Razak Md Hassan), Vice President (R. Subramaniam), 41 others and suspended 27 others union members that participated in the said picket.
2. For the issuance of a media statement as the President of the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM), Ismail Nasaruddin was terminated by Malaysian Airlines Systems Berhad (MAS) by reason that it is misconduct for an employee to issue a Statement. NUFAM Secretary General (Mohd Akram Osman) and 5 union members have also been terminated for union activities.
3. For the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) activities, Vice-President (Abdul Jamil Jalaludeen) and Treasurer General (Chen Ka Fatt) was terminated by bank management.
4. For someone else being raised issues about worker injustices in a closed Facebook group of union members, the President of Electronic Industry Employees Union Western Region, Peninsular Malaysia (EIEUWR)/ Kesatuan Sekerja Industri Elektronik Wilayah Barat Semenjung Malaysia (KSIEWBSM), Wan Noorulazhar bin Mohd Hanafiah was terminated by RENESAS.
5. For the submission of a Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) memorandum to candidate contesting in the General Elections to get commitment to worker rights, 18 union members from National Union of Transport Equipment and Allied Industries Workers/ Kesatuan Kebangsaan Pekerja Pekerja Perusahaan Alat Alat Pengangkutan dan Sekutu (NUTEAIW) were terminated in DRB HICOM subsidiaries in Pekan, Pahang including the MTUC Pahang Chairman Rusaini Ramli.
6. For issuance of a media statement as a President of National Union of Journalist (NUJ), Mohamed Hatta Wahari, Deputy President and Branch Chairman Amran Ahmad and Deputy Secretary Norazri Abdul Rahman was terminated by Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd.
7. President and 16 Union leaders and workers of Kesatuan Kakitangan Pekerja-Pekerja Westport (M) Sdn Bhd was terminated for union activities.
8. For picketing in front of Ansell NP Sdn.Bhd, Malacca on the issue of worker welfare and rights, Ansell NP Sdn. Bhd terminated the Branch Deputy Chairman (NUECMRP) and 9 union members that participated in the said picket.
The above, are some of the cases in which workers have been terminated, and/or disciplined by reason of their involvement in union activities.
The Industrial Relations Act 1967, section 5 – Prohibition on employers and their trade unions in respect of certain acts’ provides that ‘…(1) No employer or trade union of employers, and no person action on behalf of an employer or such trade union shall-(a) impose any condition in a contract of employment seeking to restrain the right of a person who is a party to the contract to join a trade union, or to continue his membership in a trade union;(b) refuse to employ any person on the ground that he is or is not a member or an officer of a trade union;(c) discriminate against any person in regard to employment, promotion, any condition of employment or working conditions on the ground that he is or is not a member or officer of a trade union;(d) dismiss or threaten to dismiss a workman, injure or threaten to injure him in his employment or alter or threaten to alter his position to his prejudice by reason that the workman- (i) is or proposes to become, or seeks to persuade any other person to become, a member or officer of a trade union; or (ii) participates in the promotion, formation or activities of a trade union; or (e) induce a person to refrain from becoming or to cease to be a member or officer of a trade union by conferring or offering to confer any advantage on or by procuring or offering to procure any advantage for any person….’ is the particular provision now available to protect termination, disciplinary action and/or discrimination against union members but is found to be insufficient.
The government talks about industrial harmony, and promotes the usage of complaint mechanisms but a great injustice happens because business and employers continue unaffected making profits, whilst the wrongfully dismissed workers is left to languish without employment and income which affects the welfare and wellbeing of workers and their families. The process of resolving wrongful dismissal cases take years to resolve, and at the end of the day majority of the workers do not even get reinstated.
Union registration and recognition takes too long, and is further delayed by employers making judicial review applications and appeals to the courts. This delay, which can last many years, deprives workers of their right to an fully functional TRADE UNION and the benefits of a Collective Agreement.
What is most disturbing is some of these ‘UNION BUSTING’ actions are being committed by Malaysian government owned or linked companies like KTMB, MAS, WESTPORT and DRB-HICOM.
THEREFORE, WE CALL ON SUHAKAM, MALAYSIAN BAR AND ALL HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS TO JOIN US IN CALLING ON THE GOVERNMENT OF MALAYSIA TO:
1. End of all forms of UNION BUSTING, and for the respect and promotion of all worker rights.
2. More effective legislations that will prevent employers from ‘UNION BUSTING’, termination or taking disciplinary actions against union leaders and union members for union activities. employers must be prevented from using union activities, or legitimate actions of workers promoting worker rights, and struggling against injustice into employment misconducts.
3. Employment misconducts need to be strictly confined to misconducts related to workplace, and not used to prevent union and worker activities, standing up against injustice and worker right violations, or the promotion of rights for workers.
4. Reinstate all union leaders and members who have been terminated, and cease all suspension and disciplinary proceedings against workers by reason of their union activities;
5. Expedite the process of registration and recognition of trade unions;
6. Expedite the process of resolving trade disputes and wrongful dismissal cases;
7. End all forms of UNION BUSTING activities.
MTUC SELANGOR & WILAYAH PERSEKUTUAN DIVISION
Source: MTUC Website