Electrical Industry Workers Union, EIWU, was established in January 1971. It was around 1969-1970 that electrical industries were starting their operations in Malaysia. Workers at the time had very few benefits and they started the union as a way to find support if anything would happen.
Panasonic was one of the electrical companies that started their operations in Malaysia, it was the first company organised by EIWU. EIWU negotiated the first collective agreement with Panasonic in 1970s, until today 16 CAs have been signed between EIWU and Panasonic. The very first general secretary was brother Bosco in the early 1970s.
When foreign investors brought electronics industry to Malaysia, EIWU tried to organise electronics workers in the 1970s and 1980s but this was halted by the Registrar of Trade Unions on the ground that EIWU could not represent electronics workers. MTUC also attempted to create a union for the electronics workers, but after pressure from the US transnational corporations, the Malaysian government decided to only allow in-house unions to be formed in electronics companies, and even that could be difficult to achieve.
The decade of 1990-2000 is a period of industrial peace for EIWU. The union’s membership was at its peak at 25,000. However, the industry began to decline in 2005-2006, electrical companies closed down and relocated to other countries.
Struggles and Milestone
The main struggle of the past 15 years is to defend electrical workers’ interests when companies shut down. Most of the time union members were not satisfied with the termination package or voluntary separation scheme (VSS), EIWU filed law suit at courts to demand for higher retrenchment benefits.
Recently, EIWU organised a picket when a company refused to negotiate wage increment in the collective agreement. After the action, EIWU and the company returned to negotiation table and managed to ink a deal with wage increase that they were aiming for.
Industrial actions will cause repercussion if legal requirements are not fulfilled. Therefore EIWU consistently provide training and legal advice for members, so that they are aware of their rights in labour laws.
EIWU is proud to provide free insurance scheme for its members as soon as they registered with EIWU. The insurance scheme is very important to ensure the safety and medical benefits of EIWU members.
Another significant achievement is that since 2018 EIWU successfully convinced two companies to replace migrant workers with local workers as soon as migrant workers’ contracts ended. This is EIWU’s contribution to generate employment opportunity for young local workers.
EIWU always defend its members’ interests, it often takes members’ cases, whether it is unfair dismissal or unsatisfactory termination package, to industrial court to fight for their rights. Trade union is the only recognised defender of workers’ rights when there is an industrial conflict.
The first challenge faced by EIWU is organising migrant workers. Some electronics companies’ migrant workers were outsourced from labour contracting companies, this made the organising process difficult because they were not considered as the big company’s workers. With the government’s announcement that outsourcing practice will be ended, EIWU is hopeful that the new policy could facilitate organising works in the future.
Even if companies directly employed migrant workers, the organising is not easy at all because migrant workers have less incentives to join union as they don’t have family life here. Moreover, employers often threaten migrant workers that they will be terminated if they join union.
It is obvious that Industrial Relations Department fails to curb union busting at workplace and protect workers’ right to join unions. Many workers, whether local or migrant workers, feel unsafe to provide testimony on union busting to Industrial Relations Department because the company will retaliate against them.
Sharing the views of other Malaysian unions, EIWU deems the claim for recognition process is unfair because Industrial Relations Department assumes that workers fail to cast their vote in the secret ballot exercise are considered as a vote against union. The union should be accorded recognition if it obtains majority by vote cast.
Today, EIWU has over 10,000 members in 40 companies.
There are 13 executive council members, including 3 women. EIWU has a women committee. The union has 7 full-time staffs with different responsibilities such as Industry relations officers, collective agreement negotiators etc.
EIWU is affiliated to Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) and IndustriALL Global Union.
President : Mohammad Hamdan
Vice President : Mond Khairi Man
General Secretary : Md. Zaimi Muhamad Yusuf
Treasurer : Zairol Akmar Haron
Assistant Treasurer : Rohaya Bt Hashim
Exco : Mohd Ridzuan Din, Syed Al Haqqi Syed Nequib, Norhaimi Abdul Aziz, Selvakumari A. Abraham, Norazman Nordin, Sabrane Ismail, Thirukumaran Supramaniam, Mohamed Gani Hajaw Mohideen, Zaleha Hassan, Hasmuni Abu Hassan Ashaari
Do you work in electrical companies that manufacture electrical appliance or equipment? If yes, you can become a member at EIWU, please contact us immediately!
You are also welcome to meet our officials to discuss your workplace problems. Please do not hesitate to call or write us, we will do our best to help you.
Address : 55A, Jalan SS 15/8a, Ss 15, 47500 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Tel : (+60)3-56335243
Mobile : : –
E-mail : email@example.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pg/Eiwuworkers