Tuesday, 21 February 2012

21 February, Putrajaya



It just took 20 minutes for three learned judges to allow an appeal by the Guppy Industries Bosses which resulted in the courts upholding an Industrial Court decision to dismiss three women unionist who tried to form a union fourteen years ago.


The judges Abdul Wahab Patail, Anantham Kasinathan and Linton Albert did not show much compassion nor empathy and gave a thumbs up judgment favoring the union busting boss of Guppy.


Today the three learned judges felt that the Industrial Court ruling against the three is correct. They felt that the High Court ruling favoring the three unionists was just a verdict to lessen the punishment which was harsh and therefore felt that the Industrial court ruling of the three being sacked as correct.


Today the court said that the three unionists were sacked for doing union work during work. This is absolutely not true and all the workers have testified against this lie. It was the employer’s words against the worker’s words. The Industrial court chairperson believed only the employer’s side and therefore the judgment was against the workers. Today the Appeal court seems to give a similar narrow verdict on this in spite of the Company boss in the witness box saying and admitting that he was doing union busting.    


PSM feels that this verdict it outrageous and disgraceful and misses the whole point of justice. On 27 April 1998, the Guppy Employer suspended the entire Protem Committee of the newly formed Guppy Union. They did not conduct any domestic inquiry but when the case was brought up to the Industrial court, the bosses said that the workers admitted. This lie is made in spite of numerous police reports and complaint letters by the Union. The Company later sacked 3 main office bearers of the Union Koyilvani (chairperson), Roshamiza (Secretary) and Kanniamah (Treasurer).  


Today after fourteen years, the Appeal court gives an appalling verdict. This seems to be the faith of the workers who brave themselves to form a union. Today nationwide Union membership has dropped to less than 7 percent. Perhaps it is time; the Registrar of Trade Unions just closes its office rather that provide lip-service. The Registrar of Trade Unions has failed to protect the right of the unions and more and more laws are made to ensure Union rights are eroded.


PSM has previously called for automatic registration of trade unions as any workers who plans to form a union has to do it in secrecy without any protection. Today the court has given much leeway to union busting Bosses. They have indulged themselves not on the substance of the matter but rather on trivial issues in determining a verdict.


The workers who form the majority class in any nation will have no choice but to fight on. Whatever the odds maybe, PSM will continue to work with workers and progressive unions in this struggle. The workers have nothing to lose except their chains. They have a world to win



Secretary General



Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 February 2012 )
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