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Guppy Union Fights On!

A MILLION THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!  GUPPY UNION FIGHTS ON!

Friends, we are really humbled by the pour of financial and solidarity support in such a short time for the 3 women unionists. Your contribution has enabled the lawyer representing the workers to file the leave application at the Federal Court on the 20 March 2012. PSM along with the affected workers need your continuous support to build our campaign against the union busting bosses and their allies. We believe that you are aware of another legal defeat encountered by eight other ex-Guppy workers on 21 Mar 2012 in their challenge against their employer over the retirement age discrimination. Workers’ struggle has a long way to go in Malaysia especially with only less than 7% workers are in union. As such, your concern to the struggle of the Guppy workers is a valuable strength for our campaign. We would keep you updated of any progress in our campaign and the legal cases. For more information you could also visit us at https://guppyunionfights.wordpress.com In solidarity, Letchimi Devi.D [PARTI SOSIALIS MALAYSIA CAWANGAN KAJANG]

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GUPPY UNION FIGHTS ON

 

MILLIONS OF THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

Posted on April 8, 2012

 

Dear Comrades and Friends,

A MILLIONS THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!Image
GUPPY UNION FIGHTS ON!

Friends, we are really humbled with the pour of financial and solidarity support in such a short time for the 3 women unionists. Your contribution has enabled the lawyer representing the workers to file the leave application at the Federal Court on the 20 March 2012.

PSM along with the affected workers need your continuous support to build our campaign against the union busting bosses and their allies.

We believe that you are also aware about the other legal defeat that eight ex-Guppy workers encountered on 21 Mar 2012 in their challenge against their employer over the retirement age discrimination.

Workers struggle has a long way to go in Malaysia especially with only less than 7% workers in union. As such, your concern to the struggle of the Guppy workers is a valuable strength for our campaign.

We would keep you updated of any progress in our campaign and the legal case. For more information you could also visit us at https://guppyunionfights.wordpress.com

In solidarity,

Letchimi Devi.D
[PARTI SOSIALIS MALAYSIA CAWANGAN KAJANG]

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more than 10 years… the fight goes on

GUPPY UNION BROUGHT UP THEIR PLIGHT TO YB TOH KIN WOON

5 out of 6 office bearers of the Kesatuan Guppy Plastic Industries Sdn Bhd loss their job to one of the most unscrupulous employer who can now be declared as a ‘union-eater’. Since the workers started their Union in April 1998, the Union chairperson – Koyilvani, the union secretary – Roshamiza and the union treasurer – Kanniamah were sacked. Then in 2001, the union vice-chairperson – Rahimah Mansor and the assistant treasurer – Visaletchumy were sacked. In the latest incident, one of the main workers organiser in Guppy, Bukit Tengah – Kumaresan was sacked.

The ‘honorable’ employer, Guppy Plastic Industries Sdn Bhd has also made history by refusing all attempt taken by the Industrial Relation Officers to reinstate any of the above workers neither agreeing in any of the industrial dispute referred by the Union.

  • In September 1998 – the 3 main Union leaders case was referred to Industrial Court.
  • In September 2001- 9 workers aged above 50 who were sacked by the Guppy management for reaching retirement age, claimed reinstatement. IRD was unable to resolve the issue amicably, immediately it was referred to Industrial Court.
  • In December 2001 – the second liners in the Union; the vice president and the assistant treasurer’s case were also not resolved during peaceful consultation at the IRD, thus the matter was referred to the Industrial Court.

Next year, another unionist – Kumaresan’s case would be heard in the first month at Industrial Relation Department, Penang. Most probably, the Union needs to be preparing to see their employer in Court for this one too.

Most shocking news is that, the 3 main Union leaders case which ended with submission early this year by both parties lawyers in the Industrial Court, still awaiting decision from the judge. And already 3 others were sacked and many more might be forthcoming if the Union is to put it’s full force to get membership in order for them to get their Union recognized by the Guppy Management!

WHERE WAS THE GOVERNMENT WHEN ALL THESE WORKERS WERE SACKED AND VICTIMISED?

  • The Union made almost 15 reports to the Industrial Relation Department on the union victimization.
  • The Union made almost 3 reports to the Human Resource Ministry on the victimization and all form of exploitation by the Guppy Management against its workers.
  • The Union made around 7 police reports against the Guppy Management and
  • Around 7 reports were made to the Labor Department against Guppy Management on various issues related to violation of Labor Law.

 Numbers of negotiations were held. But end of the day, the government officials would say to the Union, “we are very sympathetic to you, but we can’t do much, our hands are tightened and one must follow the law, we can’t take sides”. Another officer would tell, “you shouldn’t have act emotionally, he is your employer, he is paying you, union activities cannot take place during working hours, your management is paying you for the work he expects you to do for him not for the union”.

Interestingly, all the actions taken by the said government officials are only after the workers get sacked or punished – there is no preventive measure at all. Ultimately the workers are the victims; they are the one who gets redundant or sacked or degraded or intimidated or harassed and the worst is roaming without employment. In such circumstances, how could a government consciously be neutral in their position in any labor dispute.

Nevertheless, the Guppy Workers Union is not giving up. They have another initiative to meet YB Toh Kin Woon who is the Labour Exco Member in P. Penang. The meeting was held on 11th. December 2001, 11.30 a.m. at Komtar, in his office. The Union 4 times elected chairperson Koyilvani and 4 other Union members were present. As expected the YB seems to be very sympathetic to the workers plight. Saudari Koyilvani was very persistent in her demand for the YB to investigate why the Penang/Butterworth Labor Department failed to take any action to a labor report made on 1st. October 2001 against the Guppy Management on the following harassment faced by the Bukit Tengah Guppy Plastic Workers:

I)                   No overtime payment for extra working hours

II)                Forced additional working hours

III)             Unfair deduction of allowances from workers salary for medical leave

IV)             Forced annual leave

V)                Discrimination in salary increase and bonus

VI)             Deduction for safety tools and equipment from workers salary

VII)          Mistreatment of workers generally by the employer. 

The YB agreed to investigate and obtain a written report from the said Labor Department as well as fix an appointment with the Human Resource Ministry, Datuk Fong Chan Onn if the reply from the Labor Department is not satisfactory. Though the Guppy Workers Union has personally sent 3 memorandums to Datuk Chan, they still have a small hope that with the intervention from the YB Toh Kin Woon, the Guppy Workers in Bukit Tengah would gain a slight amount of justice and a better working condition. 

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Guppy Union Fights ON

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guppy union fights on

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MAHKAMAH RAYUAN SOKONG MAJIKAN
BUKAN MELINDUNGI PEKERJA DAN HAK KESATUAN 
 
Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT) hari ini dukacita dengan keputusan mahkamah rayuan di Putrajaya oleh hakim-hakim yang bijaksana iaitu Hakim Abdul Wahab Patail, Hakim Anantham Kasinathan dan Hakim Linton Albert  yang berpihak kepada majikan Guppy Plastik Sdn Bhd.
 
Kes ini yang berlarutan selama 14 tahun, di mana 3 orang pekerja ini yang menjadi perintis kepada penubuhan kesatuan telah dibuang kerja sebaik sejurus mereka menubuhkan kesatuan sekerja pada 27 April 1998. Pekerja membawa kes ini ke Mahkamah Perusahaan namun  keputusan memihak kepada majikan. Selepas itu, pekerja, mencabar keputusan Mahkamah Perusahaan di Mahkamah Tinggi dan menang di mahkamah tinggi  pada 14 Disember 2009. Namun majikan telah membuat rayuan di Mahkamah Rayuan dan kes didengar di mahkamah rayuan pada 21hb Februari, 2012 dimana Hakim Mahkamah Rayuan gagal melihat pemangsaan pekerja-pekerja kesatuan malah menganggap pembuangan kerja ini betul kerana ahli-ahli utama kesatuan Guppy plastik melakukan aktiviti-aktiviti kesatuan di premis kilang.
 
Di Malaysia, walaupun undang-undang membenarkan pekerja menubuhkan Kesatuan namun, pihak majikan terus menerus menekan dan menghukum pekerja-pekerja yang memperjuangakan hak mereka melalui kesatuan. Apa gunanya undang-undang dan mahkamah jika pekerja tidak dilindungi dan majikan terus mendiskriminasi para pekerja. 
 
Keputusan Mahkamah Rayuan ini sekali lagi membuktikan sistem dan institusi di Malaysia tidak memberikan perlindungan yang sewajarnya kepada para pekerja. Ini adalah antara usaha-usaha yang berterusan untuk menghancurkan Kesatuan Sekerja di Malaysia yang terus menjunam ke 6.9% daripada jumlah pekerja di Malaysia.
 
Apa yang berlaku kepada 3 orang ahli tertinggi Kesatuan Sekerja Guppy Plastic ini adalah penganiyaaiaan. Apa yang majikan Guppy Plastik melakukan adalah pemangsaan semata-mata. Kegagalan melihat isu pemangsaan ini adalah satu kegagalan sistem kehakiman. Pemangsaan terhadap ahli kesatuan adalah pemangsaan terhadap keseluruhan kaum pekerja!
 
Hentikan usaha menghancurkan Kesatuan Sekerja secara sitematik!
Hentikan Pemangsaan Ahli-ahli Kesatuan Sekerja!
 
Hidup pekerja
Hidup perjuangan.

— 
JARINGAN RAKYAT TERTINDAS(JERIT)

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GUPPY UNION FACE THEIR BIGGEST ON SLAUGHTER…(Jan. 2003)

CLOSE THE UNION OR I CLOSE THE FACTORY!

ImageGUPPY UNION FACE THEIR BIGGEST ONSLAUGHTER……

Putrajaya, January 30th 2003

This morning, a few brave Guppy Union members braved the storm, which was brewing in their factory, to make an emergency appeal to the Minister to intervene and resolve their problem. There were around a dozen workers from Guppy Union. The remaining union members have decided to stay back as their employer has warned them not to join the union and stop paying the union dues. He said that if the workers continued with the union, he would have no choice except to close down the factory.

In the last two days, Guppy shareholder and General manager Eng Kiat Guan confronted Union Chairperson Comrade Koyilvani, ” to close down the Union or face hardship”. Koyilvani who has been sacked by Guppy in 1998 continued to be reelected as the chairperson in the last four years by the 200 union members. In spite of being shut out of the company gates, Koyilvani’s mere presence seems to send shock waves to heart of the capitalis, Guppy Industries Management.

The Manager lost his cool and started shouting at every worker the Union leader seems to talk to. Kovilvani has lodged two police report on behalf of the union on both this incidents.

This morning, the union members, after some initial problems, managed to hand over a memorandum to the Chief Secretary of the Human Resource Ministry Datuk Syed Mohamad Abdul Kadir. A number of policemen and Special Branch officers were seen at the scene feeling very excited.

At the dialogue session, Koyilvani along with other comrades raised several issues and pushed for the Minister to intervene. Matters became more tense when Union IRO officer, Comrade V.Selvam shouted and accused the Ministry for being inefficient and complacent in their work.

The Workers then listed their grievances.

  • The entire Union Leadership in two states has been wiped out by the Employer and the Ministry cannot seem to do anything
  • The judgment of the dismissal case involving Union Leader Koyilvani, Secretary Roshamiza and Treasurer Kaniamah which was to be ready one month from the date of the hearing and submission is delayed now for 22 months. Numerous letters to the relevant authorities has not got any respond.
  • The dismissal case of the Deputy Chairperson Rahimah and Asst. Secretary Visaletchumy and other Union leaders in the Prai division has yet to be referred to the Industrial court
  • Other cases involving Union members have yet to be resolved
  • The Union has seeked recognition in two attempts but there is no reply

The list goes on and on. Koyilvani at one point told the Chief Secretary that she is fed-up because the Ministry is so hopeless and powerless. The Union is being busted right in front their eyes and even after having a registration, the union just cannot move.

The Chief Secretary assured them that he will follow-up. After firing their rage at him, the next target was the Industrial Relations Department where the workers went to lodge a violation under Section 8 of the IRA act on the issue of Employer trying to intervene and close down the Union. Here another commotion erupted when the IRA officer requested Union representative to show authorization letter. V.Selvam exploded and challenged the IRD officer to show where it is stated that he must show an authorization letter. Here once again the Industrial Relations Officer came under heavy fire for not showing urgency in solving the issue.

In what seems to be tough day, the union members walked down the office carrying a banner saying that the Minister must intervene. There was no press to capture this occasion. They came down having fulfilled their task. Even the great monuments and scenic view of Putrajaya failed to soothe the workers disappointment and anger today.

Among one line of argument of the employer is, ” I give you’ll wages but why do you give RM 3 to the union every month”. Why is the Employer so hard on he Union.

The Factory Owners have sacked the Union leaders, didn’t recognize the Union and now are threatening to shut down the factory if the Union exist. The very action of the owners clearly demonstrates that they are really terrified with the existence of a Union. 

The Union will see tougher days in the next few weeks but they have already won the battle of the hearts. Their employer will never sleep peacefully again knowing the Union is still alive and kicking.

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MORE THAN 30 WORKERS AT GUPPY GET THE SACK (June 2001)

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Cheras Jaya, 29th. June 2001

More than 30 workers who are above the age of fifty got a rude shock when their employer; Guppy Plastic Industries Sdn. Bhd. gave them a 24 hours termination notice. The notice was handed to them by the Human Resource Manager, Mr. Sivananthan who also gave each worker some money which he claimed as gratitude allowance.

By the way, the workers who had been working there, some of them for more than twenty years did not feel much gratitude about this whole incident. Most of them were furious and have seen the notice as a declaration of war by the employer.

What was even more annoying was the workers were also told to come back to work on the 9th. July as they will be then offered a contract job. Union chairperson, Comrade Koyilvani said this is the employer’s dirty tactics to make them contract workers. She said that the union would consider this an unlawful dismissal and take up the issue. By offering them contract job, it is also clear that the company is not facing any financial crisis but rather is a move to further maximize profit at the expense of the workers welfare.

Comrade Letchimi Dewi, Community Development Centre (CDC) coordinator met several affected workers at the movement office at Kajang. She said that the fifty years retirement age was below the normal standard and in this case, the employer has a different retirement age for men and women workers. This she said the is a gross violation to Article 8 of the Federal Constitution which says that everyone is equal.

Some workers attribute the companies action is to have young workers who can work like machines so that the company can maintain its ISO standards. The Union is not surprised with the company’s attitude. The Employers have a very bad Industrial record as they have not yet recognized the union and have sacked the three principal office bearers of the union.

As an immediate action, the union will be submitting a protest letter asking the employer to reinstate all the workers. Failing which, the union along with the workers will be planning more drastic actions. Workers who are not affected by this action are also very annoyed with this move and have agreed to stand by their sacked comrades to seek justice.

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