Members of the Sabah timber union are elated after yesterday’s decisive secret ballot election victory at Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) in Sipitang, Malaysia, clearing the way for them to begin collective bargaining.
The unofficial election result was 72.88
“After nearly three decades of workers’ struggle this is a historic moment for us and the entire
SFI has continuously obstructed trade union formation and yesterday was no exception. They refused to allow the election to take place on site, which is a violation of Malaysian law and only let workers leave during their lunch break. The secret ballot was held at a school adjacent to the premises.
“SFI’s continuing obstruction of workers’ fundamental right to freedom of association is no great surprise; however it indicates the clear need for legal reform to redress the power imbalance that exists between workers and their employers,” said BWI Asia-Pacific Regional Representative Apolinar Tolentino.
“Since the last election in which the Barisan Nasional was finally defeated, BWI’s Malaysian affiliates have been at the forefront of the discussion in reforming
On three separate occasions, SFI has used lengthy and expensive judicial review procedures to prevent its workers from forming a union of their own choosing, consistently
BWI affiliates across the world have often expressed their solidarity with