Reinstate RUM union activists!

06 November 2014

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, has written to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Sri Mohammad Najib, to raise ASLEF’s concerns over the dismissal by the management of KTMB (Malayan Railways Limited) of 47 union leaders and activists of the Railwaymen's Union of Malaya (RUM), including the President and Deputy President of the union.

It is our understanding that these union activists were dismissed by the KTMB management after taking part in a picket on 9 May 2014 over safety concerns arising from the use of old locomotives on the railways. We also understand that another 88 members of the union have been issued with show cause notices.

Alongside ITF affiliates in the railway industry worldwide, ASLEF stands in solidarity with Malaysian sisters and brothers from the RUM and the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) who have organised pickets outside the KTMB head office and the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (MHRC).

KTMB’s actions in response to legitimate protest action seriously violate fundamental workers’ rights, as enshrined in the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation. ASLEF are highly supportive of actions to raise safety concerns. Railway safety – keeping the railways as a safe workplace for railway workers and also safe for passengers and the public in general – is of paramount importance and the provision and proper maintenance of appropriate rolling stock and infrastructure is a significant aspect of railway safety oversight.

“We hope that the government will intervene to ensure that all the dismissed rail workers are re-instated and that the KTMB cease any victimisation of RUM members.” said Mick.

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