Friday, 20 November 2015

Government-Owned MAB, the new Malaysian Airlines Operator, Must Recognize Unions and Not Deny Freedom of Association [Update Endorsee List on 27 Nov 2015]

Government-Owned MAB, the new Malaysian Airlines Operator
Must Recognize Unions and Not Deny Freedom of Association

Joint statement - 19 November 2015
[Update Endorsees List on 27 November 2015]


We, the 67 undersigned trade unions, civil society organisations and groups are shocked that Malaysian government owned Malaysian Airline Berhad (MAB), the company that took over Malaysian Airlines, chose to ignore the application for recognition by the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM). 

In Malaysia, before a Union can proceed to negotiate and enter into a Collective Bargaining Agreement(CBA), the employer needs to recognize the said Trade Union. MAB’s failure to immediately recognize NUFAM reflects badly on Malaysia who has the duty to respect worker rights especially the freedom of Association, which is also a right enshrined in the Malaysian Federal Constitution.

In accordance to the existing law, NUFAM applied to MAB for recognition vide a letter dated 11/9/2015.

Section 9(3) Industrial Relations Act 1967 states that, ‘…An employer or a trade union of employers upon whom a claim for recognition has been served shall, within twenty-one daysafter the service of the claim- (a) accord recognition; or (b) if recognition is not accorded, notify the trade union of workmen concerned in writing the grounds for not according recognition…’

MAB did not even have courtesy of replying to NUFAM within the stipulated 21 days, which can be considered conduct unbecoming especially of a Malaysian government owned company.

As required by law, vide letter delivered on 6/10/2015, NUFAM then reported the matter in writing to the Director General for Industrial Relations to take such steps or make such enquiries to ascertain the ‘… the competence of the trade union of workmen concerned to represent any workmen or class of workmen…’ in MAB, and to determine ‘…by way of secret ballot, the percentage of the workmen or class of workmen, in respect of whom recognition is being sought, who are members of the trade union of workmen making the claim. The result of the secret ballot must demonstrate that more than 50% of the qualified employees are for the Union, whereby those that never had the opportunity to vote are taken as being against the Union.

More than 40 days has lapsed, and the DG for Industrial Relations has not yet responded to NUFAM. Given that many employees are hired as fixed-term contract employees, speedy efficient action is required by the authorities. Delay prejudices workers.

Even when Unions in Malaysia are successful in demonstrating that they have the support of more than 50% of all qualified employees in a secret ballot, and the Minister decides that recognition is to be accorded by the employer, some employers are challenging this decision in court and as a result rights that come with recognition is put on hold for many years to the detriment of workers and their union.

When the Malaysian Airlines was previously operated by Malaysian Airlines Systems Berhad(MAS Bhd), NUFAM succeeded at  the secret ballot and the Minister decided that NUFAM is recognized by MAS Bhd. Unfortunately, MAS Bhd commenced a Judicial Review action in court challenging the Minister’s decision, and this case is still pending.

Union Busting – Creating a New Legal Entity

Private sector companies have been known to in the past form a new separate legal entity, and then transfer assets and business from the existing company to this new entity, thereby killing existing unions – forcing workers to start all over again to form, register and get recognition of unions in the new entity. This strategy is also used to get rid of worker leaders and workers brave enough to fight exploitation.

It is disappointing that the Malaysian government is using a similar ‘union busting’ strategy for government owned and/or government-linked companies (GLCs).

Malaysian Airlines Systems Berhad(MAS Bhd) was the company running the Malaysian Airlines with about 20,000 employees. What was done was that MAS Bhd apparently transferred their assets and the airline business to a newly created separate legal entity, Malaysian Airlines Berhad(MAB), and terminated  about 20,000 MAS Bhd Employees.

MAB, the new company that took over the Malaysian Airlines, employed new employees, amongst them some 14,000 ex-MAS Bhd employees. All the in-house trade unions that existed in MAS Bhd were effectively killed.
Now, MAB is free of trade unions.

NUFAM may be the first union that is seeking recognition from MAB – whereby recognition is needed to better represent their worker members in MAB and to enter into a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Moratorium on all court action involving MAS Bhd

To make matters worse, Malaysia passed a new law – Malaysian Airline System Berhad (Administration) Act 2015, which amongst others, effectively prevented speedy access to justice through the courts. A moratorium was put in place preventing court actions involving MAS Bhd from proceedings. When the moratorium is finally lifted, it would likely be too late. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Malaysian Government Owns The Old And New Company

Malaysian government, vide its strategic investment fund Khazanah Nasional, owns both MAS Bhd and this new MAB. Hence, it is the current Barisan Nasional government under Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak that is now possibly guilty of union busting. The denial of speedy recognition of NUFAM and possibly other unions by the new Malaysian Airline Berhad(MAB) can be said to be anti-worker and anti-trade union conduct.

Malaysian Trade Union Laws are oppressive and anti-worker.

WE CALL FOR

-          The Immediate recognition by Malaysian Airline Berhad(MAB), a Malaysian owned company, of National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia(NUFAM);

-          The Malaysian government to ensure that all government owned and/or government-linked companies(GLCs) set the highest standards when it comes to respecting worker and trade union rights in Malaysia;

-          That Malaysia immediately ratifies ILO Convention No. 87 Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention, 1948, which is one of 8 fundamental core conventions;

-          That Malaysia immediately amend and/or repeal trade union laws that are not compliant with international standards especially freedom of association.

Charles Hector
Mohd Roszeli bin Majid
Pranom Somwong



For and on behalf the 64 organisations, trade unions and groups listed below:

ALIRAN
Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC)
Association of Maybank Executives
BPSLU (Batangas Pier Stevedores and Dockworkers Labor Union), Philippines
Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR), Philippines
Centro De Reflexión Y Acción Laboral (CEREAL), México
Clean Clothes Campaign(CCC)
Committee for Asian Women (CAW)
CBBRC (Crispin B. Beltran Resource Center), Philippines
Daeduck Employees Union- Ind. , Philippines
Eagle Ridge Employees Union, Philippines
Electronic Industry Employees Union (EIEU) Southern Region, Peninsular Malaysia
GoodElectronics Network
Hyesung Workers Union-Ind., Philippines
IDEAL (Institute for Development of Alternative Living)
Institut Rakyat
Inverclyde Advice and Employment Rights Centre, Scotland
Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia /JKOASM
Jaringan Orang Asal SeMalaysia
Jawatankuasa Bertindak Kuala Lumpur Tak Nak Insinerator
Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment, Philippines
Kesatuan Eksekutif AIROD
Kesatuan Eksekutif Canon Opto
Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja Mitsui Copper Foil(MCFEU)
Knowledge and Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces(KRYSS)
LINTAS NUSA - Batam Indonesia
MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)
Malaysian Youth and Students' Democratic Movement (DEMA)\
Malaysia Physicians for Social Responsibility
MAP Foundation for the Health and Knowledge of Ethnic Labour, Thailand
Migrant CARE
Myanmar Migrants Rights Centre
Nagkakaisang Manggagawa ng Keyrin Electronics-Ind. , Philippines
NAMM(Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia)
National Union Employees in Companies Manufacturing Rubber Products (NUECMRP)
National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia(NUFAM)
National Union of Journalist (NUJ) Cawangan Utusan Melayu
National Union of Transport Equipment & Allied Industries Workers (NUTEAIW)
North South Initiative
Paper Products Manufacturing Employees’ Union of Malaysia (PPMEU)
Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM)
Pax Romana ICMICA
People & Planet
Perak Women for Women Society
PERMAS (Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan)
Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)
Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur
Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor (PSWS)
Projek Dialog, Malaysia
Sahabat Rakyat 人民之友
Samahan ng mga Manggagawa sa Eagle Ridge Golf Course and Residential Estate, Philippines
SAVE Rivers
SAWO (Sabah Women's Action Resource Group)
Selangor and KL Hokkien Association Youth Section
Solidarity of Cavite Workers, Philippines
Tenaga Nasional Junior Officers Union (TNBJOU)
Tenaganita
The Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma(Altsean-Burma)
Workers Assistance Center, Inc (WAC) , Philippines
WH4C (Workers Hub For Change)
Yayasan Chow Kit
Yayasan LINTAS NUSA - Batam Indonesia
CWI Malaysia (Committee For Workers’ International), Malaysia
Cividep, India

[Update Endorsees below on 27 November 2015]
Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja Dalam Perkhidmatan Perubatan Dan Kesihatan Swasta
Kesatuan Pekerja-pekerja Perodua EngineManufacturing Sdn. Bhd
Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (KPP Proton)

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通告 Notification

人民之友对下届大选意见书
英巫文译稿将在此陆续贴出

作为坚守“独立自主”和“与民同在”的立场的一个民间组织,人民之友在上个月对即将来临的第14届全国大选投票,发表了一篇以华文书写的意见书,题为:投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!。

这篇意见书的英文译稿,将在近期内在本部落格贴出。马来文译稿将在下个月内贴出。敬请关注!

我们希望,我们在意见书内所表达的对下届大选的立场和观点,能够准确而又广泛地传播到我国各民族、各阶层的人民群众中接受考验,并接受各党派在这次全国大选斗争和今后实践的检验。


The English and Malay renditions of Sahabat Rakyat’s opinions about next election will be published here consecutively

As an NGO which upholds “independent and autonomous” position and "always be with the people" principle, Sahabat Rakyat had released a Chinese-written statement of views with regard to the voting in the upcoming 14th General Election, entitled “Vote for candidates who are against State Islamisation: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent the return to power of Mahathir’s faction!”

The English rendition of this statement will be published in our blog in the near future whereas the Malay rendition will be published next month (November). Please stay tuned!

We hope that our position and views pertaining to the next General Election expressed in the statement will be accurately and widely disseminated and also examined by the popular masses of various ethnicities and social strata through their involvement in the struggle of the next General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.


Akan datang: Penerbitan penterjemahan pendapat Sahabat Rakyat mengenai pilihan raya ke-14 dalam Bahasa Inggeris dan Bahasa Melayu

Sebagai sebuah pertubuhan masyarakat yang berpendirian teguh tentang prinsip "bebas dan berautonomi" dan “sentiasa berdampingan dengan rakyat jelata”, Sahabat Rakyat telah menerbitkan kenyataan tentang pandangan kami terhadap Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 yang akan datang yang bertajuk "Undilah calon yang menentang Pengislaman Negera: Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Jangan benarkan puak Mahathir kembali memerintah! "

Penterjemahan Bahasa Inggeris kenyataan tersebut akan diterbitkan dalam blog kita dalam waktu terdekat manakala penterjemahan Bahasa Melayu akan diterbitkan pada bulan hadapan.

Kami berharap pendirian dan pandangan kami berkenaan pilihan raya kali ini yang dinyatakan dalam kenyataan tersebut dapat disebarkan dengan tepat dan meluas untuk diuji dalam kalangan rakyat semua bangsa semua strata sosial melalui penglibatan mereka dalam amalan pelbagai parti politik dalam pertempuran pilihan raya umum kali ini mahupun masa depan.

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