November 2014 - Perwaja Steel terminated these workers. Then, the workers would have had to lodge their complain to the Industrial Relations Department (well, this had to be done within 60 days) ...
11 Months, i.e. October 2015 for the Minister to decide and refer the matter to the Industrial Court - and then Perwaja Steel challenged the Minister's decision...
10 Months later - High Court squashes the Minister's order - so the workers have still not had the chance to fight for their rights in court until now, and that is almost 2 years since they have been terminated - and have stopped receiving wages/income....How long for workers terminated to be able to bring their cases and fight for justice to court?
WORKERS ARE SERIOUSLY PREJUDICED - WHY ARE EMPLOYERS BEING PROTECTED? WHY PREVENT WORKERS FROM BEING ABLE TO GO IMMEDIATELY TO COURT TO FIGHT FOR JUSTICE? WHY MUST WORKERS HAVE TO GET THE MINISTER'S PERMISSION, and the Minister took 11 months to decide whether the worker can fight for his rights in court?
Great anti-worker law - and now, still cannot fight the employer in court - and the Employer has the opportunity of going to court and cancelling the Minister's decision to refer this case to court...
DELAY - an effective tool to keep employer's safe from claims of workers for justice? ...
And, now even before the trial in the Industrial Court could start... the High Court decides that the Minister's decision to refer the case to Industrial Court was wrong...
ABSURD - I say, let the trial at the Industrial Court begin - and let the Industrial Court decide first...
And what is the Unions doing about this state of affairs...this undue delay of resolving an 'unfair dismissal' case?
When one files a claim to the Industrial Relations Department, it is for a claim of RE-INSTATEMENT - i.e. 'I want my job back'?
Speed, as such is essential - any delay is most prejudicial to the worker... Even if after 1 year, the case is completed, it is irrelevant - because so many factors have changed - new workers may be occupying positions of 'wrongfully dismissed' worker - the 'dismissed' worker, of course cannot survive with no income - so they too move on to find other jobs and income ... (OH yes - this will also affect the courts decision whether to re-instate or not...)
SO MANY INJUSTICES...
WHAT WE NEED?
* WRONGFUL DISMISSAL CASE should be heard and settled fast - within 3-6 months. [After case if filed, employer shall be ordered to pay worker 'basic wages' until the end of the Industrial trial]
* DIRECT ACCESS TO INDUSTRIAL COURT - Remove this absurd step where the Minister now simply have to say 'Yes' or "No' as to whether the Industrial Court will hear the case or not...Minister makes decision without even listening to evidence, witnesses and/or legal submissions - hence, a very 'arbitrary' decision...
Court quashes minister's referral as workers' reinstatement not possible
Kow Gah Chie Published Updated
In a judicial review application brought by Perwaja Steel, Justice Hanipah Farikullah ruled that the case cannot be heard by the Industrial Court as there is no possibility of reinstatement.
This is because the company's factory in Kemaman, which terminated the workers, had ceased its operations in November 2014, she added.
However, Justice Hanipah stated, the workers can bring up the matter through other methods, but not through the Industrial Court.
"The minister did not take into consideration that there is no possibility of the workers being reinstated.
"In my opinion, the workers were advised wrongly on the issue of procedure. As such, this application is allowed," she said. THowever, the judge ordered no cost against the respondents.
By allowing the application, the Industrial Court is now prohibited from hearing the case.
The courtroom was packed with about 80 former workers. Also present was Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) acting president Abdullah Sani.
It was reported that 1,500 workers were terminated in November 2014 and owed up to four months in salary.
Workers told of Perwaja's financial turmoil
The workers were first informed in June 2014 that their company suffered a financial turmoil and would conduct a restructuring exercise of its operation.
A total of 895 workers made 46 representations to the Industrial Relations Department. Human Resources Minister Richard Riot then referred the matter to the Industrial Court in October 2015.
Perwaja Steel challenged the decision on Dec 28, 2015, and named the minister, Industrial Court and the former workers as respondents.
The company was represented in court by Balan Nair and S Malini, while the workers were represented by Mohan Ramakrishnan. Senior federal counsel Aiyu Rohaizal appeared for the minister.
Mohan, who was disappointed with the judgment, said he feared the decision may lead to a dangerous trend where other companies may wind up their operations when they are faced with a similar situation.
"The judge is saying that there must be a possibility of being reinstated, only then the minister can refer, but that is a wrong perception," he said.
"The minister should have the power to refer the case to Industrial Court.
"She (the judge) does not accept the function of the minister by saying that the case cannot be referred (to the Industrial Court)," he opined.
Mohan said reinstatement is a non-issue, since retired employees can't have their jobs reinstated anyway.
"I will seek further instructions from my clients on whether they want to appeal against the decision," he told reporters outside the courtroom.
Any such appeal to be done has to be filed within 30 days. - Malaysiakini, 19/8/2016