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Toyo Tyres urged to recognize Malaysian rubber union

4 September, 2020Malaysia’s National Union of Employees in Companies Manufacturing Rubber Products (NUECMRP) is calling on Toyo Tyre Malaysia to respect the first secret ballot result and recognize them as a negotiating partner.

Toyo Tyre Malaysia, a subsidiary of Japanese Toyo Tires Group, has been discriminating against IndustriALL affiliate NUECMRP since the union sent a request of recognition in April 2014. An in-house union was quickly set up and recognized by the company.

With the intervention of Industrial Relations Department, NUECMRP won the first secret ballot and the support of 52 per cent of the workers. In accordance with the law, the Minister of Human Resources granted the recognition to NUECMRP.

Denying the recognition, Toyo Tyre applied for a judicial review to challenge the validity of the name list of workers used in the secret ballot, which had been provided by the company itself. After a long legal battle, the court overturned the Minister’s decision and ordered a new secret ballot.

IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Valter Sanches wrote to Toyo Tyre, urging the company to respect the first secret ballot result and recognize NUECMRP, but the request was ignored and discrimination against the union continued.

Abdullah Hussaini Bin Mohd Salleh, NUECMRP general secretary, says that in the days leading up to the second polling date on 18 August, the company allowed the in-house union to put up banners calling for the rejection of NUECMRP, workers were intimidated and the vote was not secret.

“On the day of the second ballot the workers’ identities were checked before they could cast their votes. The employer had engaged security guards on the company premises to intimidate the workers.”

“NUECMRP lost the second secret ballot because of the blatantly unfair practice. We have filed an official complaint on employer’s interference with the Industrial Relations Department. We will continue to fight until Toyo Tyre recognizes our right to represent the workers.”

Tom Grinter, IndustriALL rubber director, says:

"This is a clear case of blocking the workforce from exercising their right to organize. The Malaysian government is failing in its responsibilities under their ratification of ILO Convention 98, and the company is failing in its responsibilities under its own code of conduct."