Union: Investigate Westports workers union president sacking

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Peninsular Malaysia Transport Workers Union (TWU) has urged the Human Resource Ministry to investigate the sacking of Westports Malaysia Sdn Bhd's (Westports) Workers Union president following allegations that the dismissal was unreasonable.

TWU secretary-general Datuk Zainal Rampak claimed that the union's president Megat Zamri Megat Abdul Aziz was unfairly dismissed  and that TWU  believed that he had not contravened any port regulations.    

"Human Resource Minister (Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam) needs to look into this abuse, as the sacking reflects a bigger issue, it's against the freedom of speech and the constitutionally protected democratic system. The right to freedom of speech and expression and to form associations is clearly stated in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution," he told Bernama here today.   

He also alleged that Megat's sacking was linked to conflicts between Westport's management and its union.   

Megat Zamri has been with Westports for the past 12 years and became the union's president after it was recognised by the company in December 2010.

He was suspended on May 1 2011 for alleged incitement and again on Jan 9 this year for taking part in the Flag of Convenience (FOC) Seafarers campaign organised by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), held at Westport.    

On Feb 9, two days after his suspension came to an end, he received a letter informing him that his services had been terminated.  
Zainal explained that the campaign was an annual worldwide event held to protect the rights and interests of seafarers.  

"Megat was not guilty of any wrongdoing, he was on leave at the time and did not break any of his employer's rules. He took part in his capacity as an ITF committee member," he added.

The Malaysian branch of the ITF had written to the international body in London and believed they would intervene in the matter if it is not resolved fairly, said Zainal.   

Zainal also advised Megat Zamri to lodge a report under Section 20 of the Trade Unions Act with the Human Resource Ministry.

Meanwhile, Megat Zamri said he was considering suing Westports to get justice.   

He also expressed dissatisfaction over the port's action of sacking four committee members of the union allegedly without concrete reasons.

The union had a total of 1,700 registered members, all of whom supported him, he added.

Westports' management could not be reached for comment. -- BERNAMA


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