Monday, August 24, 2015

NUBE alleges banks have begun exploiting workers? Highlighting injustice and struggles essential for justice?

Workers should fight exploitation, injustice, rights violation, ---they should fight for the improvement of working conditions, safety at the workplace, etc...
Unions should be highlighting wrongs so that violators/oppressors are pressured to act to end wrongs... People at large, many of whom are caring, will act to ensure justice, Government will be forced to act and no longer quietly ignore it and do nothing...Media plays an important role in helping workers and ordinary people highlight their issues... 
UNIONS call workers to come together to struggle for rights and injustice - but alas, many union members sometimes feel that they have been cheated - Why? Union leadership and unions just seem not to do anything - all they seem to be interested in collecting union dues... and protecting their position in leadership... Well, looking at many Malaysian Unions, these allegations may have some basis... but then, we also see other Unions that give us hope...
One such union is the National Union of Banking Employees(NUBE), and we have all heard and seen this Union struggling not just for their own members, but also for other worker and trade union rights. One example is, a joint statement which over 20 Malaysian Unions stood up for justice for MAS employees - MAS Act unjust to workers and trade unions(Malaysiakini)
NUBE has a Blog/Website, which is regularly updated - this becomes not just a means of keeping its own members updated, but more importantly keeps the public and the government aware about wrongdoings, injustices and also improvements that should be...
It is important to highlight even the smallest of cases - keep informed people of the actions taken, and also of the 'victories' and even the 'failures'. This will not only educate workers about the their rights, the options for struggle but also more importantly that UNIONs can be relied on to help even the smallest worker  who has some 'small issue'... 
MEDIA fails the workers - because worker issues seem to have become 'low priority' despite the fact that Malaysia has about 13 million workers. When one reports about claims being lodged by workers at the Labour Department(HR Department) of the Ministry > It naturally educates so many other workers in Malaysia, about these rights and the fact that they can also lodge such claims...
When MEDIA (or even UNIONs reports) about successes of worker claims - that, of course, increases hopes of success generally  amongst workers... Remember, that generally workers are FEARFUL of claiming rights or lodging complaints of exploitation - the fear is persecution by employers - maybe even loss of jobs...
But then, it is not just MEDIA that have failed workers, but also their trade unions. Trade Unions really should have blogs/websites/FB Pages - a means to be able to highlight not just issues, but also struggles and successes...Trade Unions must be in regular communication with members but is this even happening --Trade Unions should have regular meeting with the general membership but alas this does not happens (only Executive Committees and Worksite Committees meet) - End result a disconnect between leaders and members...
Why is this happening? Well some elected trade union leadership really was only interested in getting to be 'leader' - not so much so much struggling for the betterment of the membership of the Union. Once in 3 years general elections is not helping matters. 
Below are some of the matters affecting union members highlighted by NUBE?  

Is the Finance Minister at the mercy of Banks?

Aug 21, 2015
Kuala Lumpur • 21 August 2015

There have been an increase number of complaints by NUBE members recently. The complaints are regarding the manner in which some banks are conducting their business especially in respect to employee relations.

These banks have begun to exploit workers by breaching agreements and undermining the dignity and intelligence of Malaysians. They are very bold in displaying utter arrogance. They are not ashamed by their insincerity or the discredit caused to the establishment or the injustice to workers.

These are some of the common misconduct committed against workers by some banks:
1. Disregard to the safety of workers
2. Anti-Union activities
3. Rampant violation of the Collective Agreement
4. In breach of memorandum of agreements
5. Outsourcing banking functions rampantly
6. Intensifying strategies to dismiss workers
7. Promoting/Forcing unemployment under the disguise of
8. Reducing existing benefits
9. Injuring whistleblowers
10. Exploiting workers

The above misconducts by banks are tarnishing the image and reputation of the banking industry in our country and the industrial harmony.

All NUBE members are advised to report to the Union all activities of the banks that are detrimental to the interest of the workers and the country.

We have written to the Minister of Finance and Chairman of the Association of Banks in Malaysia for an urgent meeting to stop such irresponsible banks.

We also hope these banks are not holding the Minister of Finance; YAB Dato Seri Najib at ransom in view of the current politically/economically unprecedented development in Malaysia.

In light of the economic uncertainties in the country, all NUBE members must strengthen our solidarity; keep in constant touch with NUBE to protect our jobs and continue to participate in all NUBE activities to ensure that our struggle for a safe and secured employment is guaranteed.

One for all and all for one,

Quality Union • Quality Life

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This post is also available in: Malay

Haywire Wiring System

Aug 22, 2015

An ugly scenario in some banks where employees who work behind the counter or back room, daily risk their life; beneath their work tables untidy, messy exposed wires runs all over the floor with too many extension cords added to plug points. Employees are working with high risks and in an unsafe workplace.

Looks like there are management who are willing to court with danger to risks life of its employees’ safety and health at the expense of profiting whereby neglecting its moral obligation to provide a safe working environment. We have learned in some instance members has accidently stepped on live exposed wire were slightly electrocuted which was reported. Employees shall not want for a major accident (electrocution) which would be too late as life of employee may be loss in the tragedy.

It all boils down to one matter, BAD HOUSEKEEPING AND UNSAFE WORKPLACE.

Employees can end up tripping over the wires and injure themselves either stepping on live exposed wires or sparks from exposed wire which in turn cause fire. Immediate solution is to engage proper electrician to create additional plug points to reduce use of too many extension cords to avoid overload of power supply. 

If that is not possible than all exposed wires should be concealed and properly plan wiring to prevent accidents.

Employers must be focused as far as practicable to eliminate workplace accidents and hazards at all cost and direct its safety and health officer (SHO) who under Section 29 of OSH ACT 1994 and regulation 18 of SHO Regulations 1997 shall be responsible exclusively to ensure the due observance and safe environment of place of work. In addition the safety and health committee shall also be responsible for the safety at the workplace as required under section 30 of the OSH Act 1994.

In conclusion members are urged to lodge a report with respective NUBE Branch Committees as this unsafe place of work is in violation of Section 15 (1) of Osh Act 1994.
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