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8 September 2014

Malaysia: Allow union formation in Sabah Forest Industry

Sabah Forest Industry, SFI, owned and operated by Ballarpur Industries Limited (BILT), part of the gigantic Avantha Group is stepping up union busting tactics. The SFI has since 1998 refused to respect workers’ rights to form their union, affiliated to the Sabah Timber Industry Employees Union (STIEU), by using legal and technical maneuverings including two Judicial Reviews to quash the decision of Malaysian Minister of Human Resource to recognize the union. This Indian conglomerate operates in 90 countries with over 25 thousand employees.

Once again, on 17 March 2014, the STIEU filed another claim for recognition. In vain. SFI refusal prompted the Department of Industrial Relations to initiate a secret ballot election. The Department ordered SFI to submit the list of employees to be screened as eligible voters.

SFI employees’ rights to form a union have been supressed long enough! ACT NOW to demand that SFI finally allows the conduct of free secret ballot elections; refrain from legal maneuverings in the inclusion and exclusion of eligible employees to vote; respect workers’ rights to form and join union of their choosing free from management interference and respect the results of legitimate elections.

Details about...

Malaysia (08/09/2014 - 31/12/2014)

ACT NOW! Allow workers to form a union at SFI in Malaysia!

Union: STIEU
TNC involved: SFI
Source: STIEU
BWI Action: Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Sukarti Wakiman SFI Chairman I am appalled to hear about Sabah Forest Industry’s (SFI)refusal to allow workers to exercise their right to form a trade union of their own choosing, free from management interference. I am alarmed by the legal manoeuvrings and technical machinations used by SFI to suppress workers’ right to form an independent trade union. I deplore SFI’s double standards on BILT industrial relations practice in contrast to its companies in India, which are unionised. The right to form a union is fully guaranteed by ILO Convention 87 and is embedded as a mandatory requirement in Forest Certification Systems and the mandatory Labour Performance Standards of the International Finance Corporation, which gives financial support to SFI. I urge you to allow the conduct of free secret ballot elections; refrain from legal maneuverings in the inclusion and exclusion of eligible employees to vote; respect workers’ right to form and join union of their choosing free from management interference and respect the results of legitimate elections. Sincerely, CC: r. Gautham Thapar BILT Chairman Mr. Yogesh Agrawal SFI Managing Director Mr. Neehar Aggrawal SFI Chief Operating Officer