Malasia - Union leader dismissed just ahead of bargaining session

INFINEON Technologies (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd dismissed Muhammad Zulfadlee Thye Bin Abdullah, the president of the Infineon Technologies Malaysia Workers Union (Kesatuan Pekerja Pekerja Infineon Technologies (M) Sdn Bhd) on 13 December 2016. He was accused of “malingering”, implying an unjustified absence, on 18 October 2016. Zulfadlee actually had a medical certificate for four days, from 18 to 21 October, because he was suffering from gallstones. The problem appears to be his last minute decision to briefly attend a union activity that had been organised for that day, at the behest of other colleagues. Six other members of the executive committee of the union, including the vice-president and the secretary, were also targeted and subjected to disciplinary action further to the union activity, attended by over 40 colleagues. No one else was sanctioned for their participation in the event organised by the Selangor Division of the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC), other than the union leaders. Zulfadlee had worked for the company for 18 years and had an exemplary record. When he appealed against his dismissal, the company refused to reinstate him, citing serious misconduct.

The MTUC pointed out that the union was about to begin negotiations on a new collective agreement at INFINEON, and that the disciplinary measures appeared to be aimed at instilling fear.

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