Malasia - Timber union workers win secret ballot despite obstruction attempts by employer

An overwhelming majority (72.33 per cent) of members of the Sabah Timber Employees Union (STIEU) at Sabah Forest Industries (SFI) in Sipitang, Malaysia, voted to form a union via a secret ballot election on 29 October 2018. SFI has a long history of obstructing its workers from forming a trade union on its premises, and had refused to allow workers to conduct the ballot on site or during work hours. The secret ballot was held on the premises of a nearby school, with workers voting during their lunch break.
This ballot victory comes after many attempts by SFI over previous years to prevent its workers from forming a union, using lengthy and expensive judicial review procedures. In October 2017 SFI’s appeal to the Kota Kinabalu Federal Court was dismissed; however, the Court’s failure to provide a written copy of the decision was further used to prevent the secret ballot process from proceeding until the new human resources minister, M Kula Segaran, intervened.
The successful ballot will enable the workers at Sipitang to begin collective bargaining.

© ITUC-CSI-IGB 2013 | | Contact Design by - maps: jVectorMap