SFI/BILT, the timber company operating in Sabah, should follow the lead of Malaysian Airlines Systems (MAS) and eschew further legal action in their long-running dispute over the recognition of the Sabah Timber Industries Employees Union (STIEU), according to the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC).
“The recent decision by MAS to withdraw its application for a judicial review of the National Union of Flight Attendance Malaysia’s status as a legal entity was a step towards greater respect for workers and greater harmony in MAS’ industrial relations,” said MTUC Secretary-General N. Gopal Kishnam.
“After losing their own judicial review case regarding STIEU’s recognition late last month, the Court still allows a 30-day period in which SFI/BILT could appeal the decision”, explained N. Gopal Kishnam. “That decision confirmed that the Minister’s review of the secret ballot procedure that had taken place amongst STIEU members was carried out appropriately.”
“SFI/BILT’s decades-long struggle to prevent recognition, it is becoming clear that any further legal action would be little more than a vexatious delay tactic, which could threaten their FSC certification.
“We are demanding that SFI/BILT follows the example of MAS, and abstains from appealing the Sabah High Court’s decision. This has already gone on for far too long. It’s time SFI/BILT moved into the twenty-first century, voluntarily recognised STIEU and started a genuine collective bargaining process, just like other employers do.”