Malasia - Yellow union at Maybank - registered by government (2012)

On 30 January, the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) claimed that the government’s registration of the in-house union at Maybank violated Section 12 of the Trade Unions Act of 1959 and called for the registration to be nullified. Maybank chief executive, Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, said that while 61% of Maybank employees in the clerical/non-clerical category are NUBE members, others had decided to form the Maybank Non-Executive Union (Mayneu) on 3 January.

On 21 September, NUBE accused Maybank of backing the in-house union to avoid an 80-month bonus claim for bank employees. In addition, NUBE Secretary-General J. Solomon said that Maybank’s support for Mayneu was a violation of a High Court stay order on the registration of the in-house union. On 24 November, Malaysia’s High Court dismissed a defamation suit brought by Maybank against NUBE. The court ruled that NUBE, as a registered trade union, cannot be sued for defamation. The court held that Section 21 and 22 (1) of the Trade Unions Act of 1959 was clear that such actions against a trade union in relation to a trade dispute “is not maintainable in any civil court nor can it be entertained by any court.” The court was satisfied that there was in fact a “trade dispute” between Maybank and NUBE in reference to the insufficient bonuses provided for the lower level of staff of the bank. The court ordered Maybank to pay RM15,000 in costs to the NUBE. In its suit filed on 22 April, Maybank alleged that NUBE and its Secretary-General J. Solomon, had published articles containing defamatory statements against Maybank on the union’s website earlier in the year.

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