Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Will Malaysian unions and workers help dismissed workers? German union helps Zulfadlee from INFINEON

When workers or union members are in trouble,  will fellow workers or union members help? What is the union culture in Malaysia? What is the meaning of 'solidarity' ? 

What happens when a fellow worker and/or union member is terminate or retrenched? Do other workers come forward and support the affected worker victims - morally,  financially and even in the struggle for Justice? 

What happens when a fellow worker or fellow union member or even a union leader is wrongfully dismissed?


Donation received Zulfadlee, Union President in Infineon Melaka, from members of IG Metal members of Infineon Munich,Germany

Mere expression of sympathy (many a times in private) is not enough. 

Sometimes not only is public support important - but also some form of financial assistance is also good. 

In a union of 100 workers, a contribution of R10 per worker per month would provide the affected worker monthly financial assistance of RM1000 a month.. Helping one another in times of need is always a good culture. What about the Union itself...does it help out? Workers and union members decide what their UNION will be or will not be...

Malaysians are generally a caring people.. Who are quick to help out financially and otherwise when there is a need... So what went wrong in unions and workers when a fellow worker is in need... 

18 workers and union members in DRB Hicom subsidiaries got terminated for union activities - all members of a National union. President of the Western Region Electronics Union was terminated. President and Secretary General of NUFAM was terminated. President of an Infineon Melaka in-house union with a couple of thousand members got terminated... Was there any financial assistance given by these unions(or other unions) or union members to help these fellow workers financially during their time of need? 

Financial Assistance for workers that have lost their employment and monthly income - Yes,  there must be... and many Malaysian unions, including MTUC,  say 'YES'... They have been saying this for some time now...more so now when the government wants to create a financial assistance scheme that will provide monthly financial assistance for a maximum period of 6 months when a worker loses employment until he gets new employment and income... Syabas UMNO-BN - Bantuan Bulanan Untuk Pekerja Hilang Kerja Hingga Dapat Kerja Baru?

Well,  the need for financial assistance is known... So,  why did the Unions and workers not create and maintain such a practice... Of helping fellow workers in need.. WHY indeed? 

Many workers see Trade Unions as interested in collecting money... But not helping when workers/MEMBERS are in need.  Do unions only do Collective Bargaining Agreements,  and occasionally interact with employers 

Some union leaders, as an excuse blame Malaysian laws...a lame excuse, in my opinion... if there is the will to do.. or help,  then you do it...

Sadly,  for many unions,  it is an UMNO like culture... we are good friends and support each other if you are in... But The moment you are terminated or being,, 'targetted' by the employer... 'Hello... Who are you.. I do not know you anymore... And strange understanding of the word' solidarity ' and' trade union '... Similar things happened when Kula,  Anwar, Muhyiddin...was ousted from UMNO... Did the same things happen to union members and leaders when they were 'terminated' by their employers? Did their union and fellow union members just forget about them and do nothing...

Well,  the union members of German unions put Malaysian workers and Unions,  especially the Infineon Melaka unions to shame... They collected funds and send Zulfadlee some financial assistance... 

Malaysian unions and members... especially current Union leaders need to review their priorities, values and principles.. Their work methodologies.. 

Disturbing too was the realisation that there are several 'unionists'  out there that are really only interested in the 'money' they can make from workers for themselves... these are the ones who take up worker cases and charge them between RM5, 000 - RM10,000(or maybe even more now)... And All these money goes into their own pockets... Not even into some common union funds. (Charging wrongfully dismissed workers, some even union members or former union members,  money is certainly very Wrong.... 'unionist' taking advantage of dismissed workers is very wrong.. 

Legal Aid lawyers will take up cases for workers... and since a few years ago,  this service was extended, enforced by a Malaysian bar resolution, to advice, preparation of claims to be submitted when lodging complaints to relevant departments,..Resolution for Provision of Legal Aid for Workers adopted in Malaysian Bar AGM

We would have expected the MTUC and other unions to come out applauding for now workers do not have to worry about getting lawyers where they have to pay fees. Legal aid provided by the Malaysian Bar is FREE... But MTUC kept silent and did not even tell all workers about this good news for all workers... Well,  later I found out that some influential 'unionist' were NOT HAPPY - they  were worried that if workers knew about this,  they will stop using 'unionists'... and these persons will lose their income (or rather side income)...that they make from victimized workers.

When lawyers  need other lawyers to act for them,  almost all lawyers will not charge fellow lawyers fees. 

It is sad when' unionist' are charging workers fees...Now,the current MTUC at least have met with the Bar Council,  and plans are being implemented as to how to use this free legal aid for the benefit of workers... When will MTUC publicise the availability of free legal aid all over Malaysia... are these 'unionist' who make money taking up worker cases still a problem preventing access to free legal aid for workers. 

Unions and unionist in Malaysia have so much they can do... For the improvement and better protection of worker rights in Malaysia... Worker education and empowerment is so lacking in Malaysia... Worker Solidarity also can be improved...  Alone We are weak, United we are strong... 

When the removal of even Union leaders by employers sees not even a picket or protest by union members... One wonders whether unions and unionism are 'Dead'...or maybe there is a need of REFORMASI or TRANSFORMATION...

We struggle until we get what we are struggling for.. The Malaysian unions fought against the' contractor for labour system... But why is that struggle not ongoing... The struggle against the ISA continued until ISA was abolished... What exactly are Malaysian unions and workers fighting for... 

Organising is an ongoing work of unions... Solidarity building is ongoing work... The lack of worker solidarity when a worker has his rights violated is disturbing.. Workers and Unions in Germany is still fighting for Justice for Zulfadlee and the union... But What is happening in Malaysia..

Union elections in Infineon Melaka is just round the corner -  Will the union members show solidarity and re-elect Zulfadlee as Union President.  Or will they side with Infineon(the employer) and vote Zulfadlee out as Union President? Electing Zulfadlee as Union President will be strong demonstration of solidarity... And will be sending a strong protest to Infineon the employer for the wrong they did and is continuing to do by preventing Zulfadlee carrying out his duties and responsibilities as Union President... 

The Union leadership in Infineon Melaka did take a strong position against Infineon Melaka.. But will they continue to be strong...?

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