Friday, April 24, 2015

11 workers arrested and detained overnight for picketing?

Well, I have been informed that 11 workers are spending the night in police lock-up - Seapark Police Station?

These worker were picketing near their place of employment, along Jalan University Petaling Jaya yesterday(23/4/2015), and the police allegedly came and arrested them at about 1.50pm. (mmm it seemed to have been lunch hour?)

Picketing is a recognized right of workers in Malaysia...and section 40 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967 states this clearly.

(1) Without prejudice to section 39, it shall be unlawful for one or more persons acting on his or their behalf or on behalf of a trade union or of an employer in furtherance of a trade dispute to attend at or near any place:
Provided that it shall not be unlawful for one or more workmen to attend at or near the place where the workman works and where a trade dispute involving such workman exists only for the purpose of peacefully-
(i) obtaining or communicating information; or
(ii) persuading or inducing any workman to work or abstain from working,
and subject to such attendance being not in such numbers or otherwise in such manner as to be calculated-
(a) to intimidate any person;
(b) to obstruct the approach thereto or egress therefrom; or
(c) to lead to a breach of the peace....

The workers were allegedly from the National Union of Tobacco Industry Workers (NUTIW).

The workers are spending the night in police lock-ups - so unnecessary because there would not likely be any investigation being done now that requires their presence. The police could have simply released all 11 workers, released them on police bail and ask them to return again to the police station for further investigation if so required... I am sure that these workers would not have absconded... but would have surely turned up as and when required by the police.

Overnight detention is so not necessary - remember also the legal presumption that one is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

Interferennce of the police in worker-employer disputes is so wrong and anti-worker. Are we entering a new era of repression in Malaysia where even workers are not allowed to picket?

As it is, in my opinion, the right of peaceful assembly in Malaysia has already been eroded... Malaysia should really not now interfere with the right to picket.


*** If and when more updates are received

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