Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) is shocked with the action of the Malaysian police who arrested 11 workers from the National Union of Tobacco Industry Workers (NUTIW) at a picket near the factory along Jalan University, Petaling Jaya, Selangor at about 1.50pm yesterday(23/4/2015). The right to picket is a workers’ right provided for in Malaysian law, in section 40 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967.
The action of the police of arresting the 11 workers is wrong, and the act of further detaining them overnight at the Seapark Police Station is unjust. Even the presence of the 11 workers was needed for further investigation, the police could have released these workers on police bail and these workers would have presented themselves at the police station as and when required. Keeping them overnight in police lock-ups, away from the home and family was unnecessary.
The interference in a legitimate industrial action between union and the employer is wrong. It is hoped that the employer will not now further aggravate matters by taking disciplinary actions against these workers – they were exercising a legitimate worker right in Malaysia.
MTUC demands the immediate and unconditional release of these workers. Police should also apologize for their unwarranted actions in what was a matter between employer and workers.
MTUC also calls on the government and the police to refrain in the future from interfering in the exercise of worker rights to picket.
N. Gopal Kishnam Secretary General Tel: + 6 019 317 4717 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org