Finally, the workers of RENESAS Semiconductor KL Sdn Bhd (formerly known as NEC Semiconductors (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd] have got their 'secret ballot' which will Electronic Industry Employees Union Western Region, Peninsular Malaysia (EIEUWR)/ Kesatuan Sekerja Industri Elektronik Wilayah Barat Semenjung Malaysia(KSIEWBSM) determine whether their Union will be accorded recognition - something that is needed before the Union can enter into negotiations and sign a Collective Bargaining Agreement with their employer, RENESAS.
If there are 100 qualified workers, then 51 or more workers must come out and vote in favour of the Union. Workers who cannot make it to cast their ballot will be deemed to be not in favour of the Union. Employers have been known to use many kinds of strategies that prevents workers having the time to come out and vote.
There would have been no need for a 'secret ballot' if only RENESAS had recognized the Union, whose membership was 70% of those then qualified to vote. But RENESAS delayed recognition of the UNION using technicalities and legal challenges, that went all the way to the Federal Court. The Union President, a worker at RENESAS, was also wrongfully terminated 26/8/2011 (his case in now pending at the Industrial Court).
In RENESAS, the secret ballot is said to be happening today, and will continue for the next 2 days
Joint Statement- 4/4/2013
RENESAS MUST IMMEDIATELY ACCORD RECOGNITION TO THE UNION
AND REINSTATE WAN NOORULAZHAR
We, the 87 undersigned civil society organisations, trade unions and groups call on RENESAS Semiconductor KL Sdn Bhd (formerly known as NEC Semiconductors (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd] to respect the freedom of association and the right to effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, being one of the basic rights of workers and one also one of the core values of International Labour Organisation (ILO)'s. RENESAS must stop obstructing or delaying, and immediately accord recognition to Electronic Industry Employees Union Western Region, Peninsular Malaysia (EIEUWR)/ Kesatuan Sekerja Industri Elektronik Wilayah Barat Semenjung Malaysia(KSIEWBSM)[UNION] so that workers at RENESAS can at last begin to enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining agreement. It has been more than 3 years since the UNION first applied in January 2010 for recognition by RENESAS.
In Malaysia, after being registered, recognition by the employer is needed before the UNION can start negotiating and enter into any Collective Bargaining Agreement with the employer company. The UNION has to submit a claim for recognition, and within 21 days, the company can accord recognition or not. If not, then the Director General of Industrial Relations (DGIR) steps in and start the process of conducting a secret ballot to ensure that more than 5o% plus one of the qualified workers is for the union – then the union is accorded recognition, and thereafter can effectively represent the workers.
Even though about 70% (1,300) of RENESAS’s workers eligible to be members of the union were already members of EIEUWR when the first application was made by the UNION to the company for recognition, RENESAS did not accord recognition and after more than 3 years and RENESAS still refuses to recognize the UNION.
On 18/1/2010, EIEUWR submitted the 1st application for recognition to RENESAS. The company responded that there was a pro-tem in-house union, which was unregistered, also seeking recognition. The Director General of Industrial Relations (DGIR) rejected this reason. Then, RENESAS claimed that they did not receive the claim for recognition, when the application had been hand delivered personally by Wan Noorulazhar, the Union President, and RENESAS acknowledged receipt. The DGIR later asked the Union to send again their claim for recognition.
The 2nd claim for recognition was submitted on 17/8/2010, this time by acknowledged receipt registered post, and again RENESAS claimed they did not receive it, and the UNION also did not receive back the duly signed acknowledged receipt card from the postal services.
The 3rd claim for recognition was submitted to RENESAS on 8/10/2010, and this time using the National Courier Poslaju. After receipt of the UNION’s letter, RENESAS send it back to Poslaju asking that the letter be returned to the UNION. Poslaju provided a letter confirming this. RENESAS could not deny receipt this time, and rightfully the DGIR should have done the needful which was to the conduct of a ‘secret ballot’. But, there was inaction on the part of the DGIR for many months despite repeated demands by the UNION, and finally on 12/8/2011, the UNION had a picket in front of the Ministry of Human Resources. The DGIR then informed the UNION that the said relevant documents had been misplaced, and the blame was put on the Deputy DGIR responsible, who allegedly has since then been removed from that position. The DGIR then asked the Union to submit yet another claim for recognition.
The 4th claim for recognition was made on 8/9/2011. RENESAS’s now challenged the validity of the registration of EIEUWR(the UNION) itself, and the qualification of the UNION’s General Secretary, one Bruno Gentil Pereira. When the Minister rejected this objection on 9/4/2012, RENESAS proceeded to filed a High Court case to challenge the Minister’s decision on 8/5/2012, whereby on 28/6/2012, the High Court dismissed the RENESAS’s application. RENESAS then appealed to the Court of Appeal who also unanimously dismissed the case on 5/12/2012.
After the High Court dismissed RENESAS application on 28/6/2012, there was no court order stopping the DGIR from proceeding with the secret ballot but the DGIR did not do anything.
After much protestation by the Union, the DGIR finally started the process by writing to RENESAS to submit Form B, as required by law, on about 14/12/2012. RENESAS did not comply and a second letter was sent by the DGIR on 14/1/2013. RENESAS again did not comply, and now it is believed that a third letter has been sent by the DGIR.
When, and if the day finally comes for the ‘secret ballot’, the workers entitled to vote would be the workers as of the date the claim was submitted, being 8/9/2011 but with the existence of short-term contracts, many of the pro-union workers may no more be employees of RENESAS, and this will prejudice the UNION, who still will have to show that it has the support of at least 50% plus one of the number of qualified employees as per the list of qualified employees on 8/9/2011. The tactic of delaying the secret ballot works in favour of the employer, and prejudices the UNION.
Wan Noorulazhar bin Mohd Hanafiah, an employee of RENESAS who is the President of the UNION was dismissed on 26/8/2011 by RENESAS whereby the alleged misconduct, was that his actions were ‘contrary to explicit company policies’. He allegedly made statements about treatment of workers in a closed Facebook Group, whose members were fellow workers. The alleged misconduct It had nothing to do with his work performance. The wrongful dismissal case is now before the Industrial court.
The current trend at the Industrial Courts when it makes a finding the worker has been wrongfully dismissed by the employer is not to order reinstatement, but to rather order compensation. If not reinstated, workers of RENESAS would be deprived of a leader. RENESAS can at any time reinstate Wan Noorulazhar bin Mohd Hanafiah without loss of benefits.
We call on RENESAS Semiconductor KL Sdn Bhd to immediately accord recognition to Electronic Industry Employees Union Western Region (EIEUWR), and immediately reinstate Wan Noorulazhar bin Mohd Hanafiah and all other worker leaders terminated.
Senator Syed Shahir bin Syed Mohamud
Mohd Roszeli bin Majid
Badrulzaman bin Mohd Ghazali
For and on behalf the 87 organisations listed below
Andhra Pradesh State Domestic Workers' Union, India
Asia Monitor Resource Centre(AMRC)
Asia Pacific Forum on Women , Law and Development ( APWLD)
Asia Floor Wage Alliance- SEA Office
Building and Wood Workers International Asia Pacific Regional Office (BWI APRO)
Center for Migrant Advocacy ,Philippines
Centre for Human Rights and Development (CHRD) Sri Lanka
Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
CIMS- Centre for Indian Migrant Studies
Clean Clothes Campaign
Committee for Asian Women, Bangkok
Community Action Network (CAN), Malaysia
Confederation of Free Trade Unions of India
GoodElectronics Thailand (GET)
Hope Workers' Center, Taiwan
Hsinchu Catholic Diocese Migrants and Immigrants Service Center (HMISC), Taiwan
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
IDWN( International Domestic Workers’ Network)
IMA Research Foundation, Bangladesh
International Campaign for Responsible Technology, US
International League of Peoples' Struggle – Canada
Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW), Cambodia
LIPS (Lembaga Informasi Perburuhan Sedane/Sedane Labour Resource Centre) Indonesia
MADPET (Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)
Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility
MAP Foundation, Thailand
Maquiladora Health & Safety Support Network, Berkeley, CA USA
Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA)
Migrant Forum India (MF India)
Migrant Forum Lanka (MFL)
Migrants Rights Council India
Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization Malaysia (MERHROM)
NAMM (Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia)
NDWM - National Domestic Workers' Movement, India
NLD-LA (National League for Democracy-Liberated Areas), Malaysia
Pakistan Rural Workers Social Welfare Organization (PRWSWO)
Parti Rakyat Malaysia(PRM)
People & Planet, UK
Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
Progressive Labor Union of Domestic Workers- Hong Kong
PSWS (Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor)
Pusat KOMAS (KOMAS)
Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), Bangladesh
SALT (School of Acting Justly Loving Tenderly and Walking Humbly)
SBMI (Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia)
Solidarity of Cavite Workers (SCW), Philippines
State Enterprises Workers' Relations Confederation (SERC), Thailand
State Railway Workers' Union of Thailand (SRU), Thailand
SUARAM (Suara Rakyat Malaysia)
The Alliance of Progressive Labor - Hong Kong
Tourism Employees Association of Maldives
Women's Rehabilitation Center (WOREC) Nepal
Workers Assistance Center, Inc, Philippines
Workers Hub For Change (WH4C)
Women Workers Lead
Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)
Youth For Peace/Peace Institute of Cambodia (YFP/PIC)
Kesatuan Sekerja Industri Elektronik Wilayah Timur Semenanjung Malaysia (KSIEWTSM)
Kesatuan Sekerja Industri Elektronik Wilayah Selatan Semenanjung Malaysia
Kesatuan Sekerja Pekerja Industri Elektronik Wilayah Utara
Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja MHS Aviation Berhad
Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja Polyplastics Asia Pacific
Paper & Paper Products Manufacturing Employees' Union Of Malaysia (PPPMEU)
TNBJOU (TNB Junior Officers Union), Malaysia
Malayan Technical Services Union (MTSU)
NUBE (National Union of Banking Employees), Malaysia
Association of Maybank Executive
Kesatuan Kebangsaan Pekerja Pekerja Perusahaan Alat Alat Pengangkutan Dan Sekutu(NUTEAIW)
Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja Dalam Perkhidmatan Perubatan Dan Kesihatan Swasta-[Union Of Employees In Private Medical And Health Services]
Kesatuan Eksekutif Canon Opto (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
Kesatuan Pekerja-Pekerja Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn.Bhd.
Electrical Industry Workers' Union (EIWU)
Kesatuan Pekerja Pekerja Fujikura Federal Cables Sdn Bhd
Kesatuan Pekerja Pekerja Kelab Semenanjung Malaysia
Kesatuan Eksekutif Airod (KEA)
UNI Global Union-Malaysia
MTUC Penang Division
MTUC Bahagian Melaka
Kongres Kesatuan Sekerja Cawangan Pulau Pinang
MTUC Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan