Electronics Industry Employees’ Union (EIEU) Coalition is a union network established in 2012 with the combination of four regional electronics unions in Malaysia –
- Electronics Industry Employees’ Union Western Region Peninsular Malaysia (EIEUWRPM)
- Electronics Industry Employees’ Union Eastern Region Peninsular Malaysia (EIEUERPM)
- Electronics Industry Employees’ Union Northern Region Peninsular Malaysia (EIEUNRPM)
- Electronics Industry Employees’ Union Southern Region Peninsular Malaysia (EIEUSRPM)
It took almost 30 years for electronics unions to come into being, which is a result of employers’ long-term anti-union discrimination that supported by the state.
The first attempt of organizing electronics workers by Electrical Industry Workers’ Union (EIWU) in 1974 was rejected by Registrar of Trade Unions, on the ground that electrical union did not have competency to represent electronics workers, as it was belonged to other industry.
In 1994, Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) launched the second attempt to unionise the sector by forming a National Union of Electronics Workers (NUEW). Regrettably, Malaysian government ignored the effort despite the case has been brought to the attention of International Labour Organisation (ILO).
In 1988, American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) lodged a complaint with United States government regarding Malaysian government’s anti-union policy in electronics sector. As the complaint might affect Malaysia trade privileges in the US General Systems of Preferences (GSP), Malaysian government almost agreed with MTUC on setting up of NUEW.
However, after multinational electronics firms resisted the decision, Malaysian government backdown and decided to approve only enterprise unions in electronics industry.
The test case of registration of RCA Workers’ Union at RCA Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary owned by US firm Harris Corporation, in 1989. The company used various tactics to defeat the union including refused to recognize the union, renamed the company to invalidate the union, moved all workers to another plant except the union leaders, and retrenched workers and closed down the factory.
The prime-mover of the RCA Workers’ Union, Bruno Periera, realized that enterprise union was weak in facing union busting. Eventually the union leadership decided to deregister the enterprise union in 2004 and started to work on setting up of a national union of electronics workers.
With the support of MTUC, electronics workers registered EIEU Western Region in 2009. The EIEU Southern Region was formed in March 2010. The EIEU Eastern Region and Northern Region were established in the following years.
Today, there are approximately 13,000 members of EIEU Coalition.
Struggles and Milestones
Some of the struggles EIEU has been facing during their active years is the formula of the secret ballot. It is an unfair formula as workers do not cast their votes are considered vote against union.
The process that leads up to a secret ballot can be delayed because companies often challenging the union. This means that when its finally time for the workers to cast their vote, people might not work there anymore, but their votes are still considered as votes against the union. This is usually the case in companies where there is a lot of migrant workers and their contracts will be ended in few years’ time.
Another problem is that companies know workers who come to vote usually vote in favour of the union, this makes workers less likely to vote because fear of retaliation by employer.
Electronics firms are also notorious in delaying collective bargaining process. In 2019, EIEU Western Region organized pickets at Renesas in Banting, protesting against snail-paced collective bargaining process.
Just like other unions in Malaysia, legal challenge is a problem that impedes organizing works. Employers often take unions to the courts on issues such as claim for recognition, collective agreement and trade dispute.
Employers adopt legal strategy because they are financially strong. But legal challenges drained unions’ limited resource and precious time that can be better used for organizing. EIEU could win court cases but it usually took many years to conclude a case.
Income inequality is another big challenge facing unions. In contrast with high Gross Domestic Product, Malaysian workers’ wage are low, which is unacceptable because most of the profit goes to the employers and the top management.
EIEU Western Region Executive Council 2019-2021
President : Zaidi
Vice-President : Helmi
General secretary : Bruno Periera
Assistant GS : Haniff
Treasurer : Hafidz
Exco : Arif, Latifah, Hizam, Yanti, Rafiz, Hasmah
EIEU Southern Region Executive Council 2019-2021
President : Hj Azaman Badri
Deputy President : Roslan bin Rosdi
General secretary : Ahmad Helmy bin Yunos
Assistant GS : Idawati binti Idrus
Treasurer : Khairul Zurain bin Takat
Exco : Asri bin Harun, Rosmawati binti Hashim, Kamalrulazam bin Mohamed, Sarimah binti Khairudin, Rahmat Jailani bin Abdullah, Noor Hidayah binti Saidi
EIEU Northern Region Executive Council 2016-2019
President : Mohd Razi
Deputy President : Firdaus Saad
General secretary : AK David
Assistant GS : Syahrizan
Treasurer General : Suresh
Exco : Irwan, Suhana, Asmirul, Jammina, Armita, Khairi, Hanita
EIEU Eastern Region Executive Council 2016-2019
President : Mohd Aifil Asyaraf B. Abd Rahman
Deputy President : Samsudin B. Mat
General Secretary : Mohamad Hafiz B. Ismail
Assistant GS : Mohd Fazuid Akram B. Abdul Kadir
Executive Secretary : Izwan Fadly B. Isa
Treasurer : Hamidah Bt. Desa @ Din
Exco : Wan Nurul Huda Bt. Wan Ismail, Mohd Nazri B. Mohd Nor, Asmah Bt. Hashim, Razif B. Ramli, Ahmad Nazri B. Seman, Abdul Aziz B. Abdul Rahman
EIEU’s membership is open to all workers who are employed or engaged in the electronics manufacturing industry and/ or repair electronic components and boards, computers and peripheral equipment, and magnetic and optical media.
If you are interested to join EIEU or you have any queries, please contact us :
EIEU Western Region Peninsular Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Selangor & Perak)
Tel : +6012-3129300 (Bruno)
Email : email@example.com
EIEU Southern Region Peninsular Malaysia (Negeri Sembilan, Melaka & Johor)
Tel : 011-32486887 （Hj Azaman）
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
EIEU Northern Region Peninsular Malaysia (Pulau Pinang, Kedah & Perlis)
Tel : 019-4810384 (David)
Email : email@example.com
EIEU Eastern Region Peninsular Malaysia (Kelantan, Terengganu & Pahang)
Tel : 014-5110599 (Hafiz)