Right to justice
In Malaysia, five local leaders of the National Union of Transport Equipment and Allied Industries Workers (NUTEAIW) were still out of work six years after HICOM Automotive manufacturer dismissed 32 NUTEAIW members for attending a union briefing after working hours, outside of company premises, in February 2016. The briefing was about a deadlock in the collective bargaining, and the company accused the workers of “tarnishing the image” of the company.
After mediation meetings at the industrial relations department, 27 union members were reinstated. However, the company refused to reinstate the remaining five local union leaders. The five workers won termination compensation in court but failed to gain reinstatement. NUTEAIW exhausted all domestic legal avenues and decided in July 2021 to file a complaint with the ILO.
HICOM has a notorious record of union-busting in Malaysia. In 2013, HICOM and its sister company Isuzu HICOM dismissed 18 NUTEAIW members for exercising their trade union rights.