National Union of Workers in Hospital Support and Allied Services (NUWHSAS)

In 2018, the National Union of Workers in Hospital Support and Allied Services Peninsular Malaysia (NUWHSAS) was revived by a group of activists to fight against injustice at workplaces.

NUWHSAS has long time disputes with UEM Edgenta Berhad, Edgenta Mediserve Sdn. Bhd. and Edgenta UEMS. These companies are subsidiaries of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, and were given government contracts to supply hospital cleaners across peninsular Malaysia.

Below are common issues faced by hospital cleaners :

  • No wage increment (workers receive minimum wage even after working more than 10 years)
  • Being forced to perform overtime work
  • No employment security (fixed term employment contract)
  • Lack of benefits (Transport and other allowances were abolished)

NUWHSAS lodged a complaint on violation of workers’ rights and employers’ intimidation with the Industrial Relations Department in November 2019. But the employers continue to discriminate against union mebers.

In December 2019, the union held a demonstration in Putrajaya to protest against anti-union discrimination. The unionists made public their demands :

  • Immediately cease union busting
  • The Ministry of Health must end concession agreements with companies involved in union busting
  • Make all workers of subsidiary services in government hospital as permanent workers
  • Swift implementation of collective agreements.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, these companies ignored hospital cleaners’ safety and health. The cleaners were not considered as frontliners, they were not given RM600 of special annual allowance as civil servants in hospitals. Yet, they were forced to carry out cleaning jobs at high risk areas, their work loads had increased substantially in the two years.

In June 2020, the union staged a peaceful picket in front of the general hospital of Ipoh. The hospital cleaners were unhappy about the change of working hours and shifts without prior consent of the workers, they were also forced to perform overtime work without pay. In addition, the employers did not provide sufficient personal protective equipment, and often intimidated union members.

As a result, 3 union activists and 2 Socialist Party of Malaysia leaders were arrested by the police. The police accused them of violating Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 and Section 186 and 269 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC). Civil society organisations have criticised the government for infringing workers’ freedom of expression.

After years of struggles, the union has successfully forced UEM Edgenta Berhad, Edgenta Mediserve Sdn Bhd dan Edgenta UEMS to hold meetings with the union every two months to tackle workers’ issues. The companies also agreed to restore the annual holiday to 15 days. The union won the dispute on union busting at the industrial court.

Contact the union :

Tel no. : 017-2377518

Email :

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Rujukan :

Letchimi Devi, 2021, Case Study on the Situation of Government Hospital Cleaners in Southeast Asia,

FMT, 2020, Union wants justice for hospital cleaners,

Aliran, 2020, Release picketers representing frontline hospital support staff now!

Kesatuan Pekerja Swasta Hospital Kerajaan, 2013,