IPOH: The Non-Metallic Mineral Products Manufacturing Employees’ Union is prepared to assist the police in their investigations if they stop arresting more of its members.
Speaking on the union's behalf, Non-Metallic (Minerals) Union general-secretary S. Somahsundram urged the police to release the members who were arrested following police reports of alleged sabotage lodged by the management of a factory in Kanthan, Chemor.
He said police had detained 11 of its members since Sept 22.
Somahsundram questioned why union members were the only ones arrested while non-union workers and contractual employees were not arrested.
“The arrests were based on the reports lodged by the employer and we strongly believe that the arrests of our union members is a move to victimise them as they had been having problems in coming to an agreement on the collective agreement,” he said in a memorandum handed to Perak CPO Deputy Commissioner Datuk Amiruddin Embi with five others yesterday.
In a press conference later, Ipoh OCPD Asst Comm Ismail Abdullah said during the meeting with DCP Amiruddin, the union agreed to co-operate with the police to bring in those who had carried out the acts of sabotage at the factory.
He said the factory owner had lodged 32 reports since Aug 6 on incidents of sabotage such as the damaging of fan belts on machines.
“We opened investigation papers on all the reports but we had to go in and investigate, identify and arrest the culprits when someone set fire to the main office of the factory.
“We are not siding with anyone or in any way involved in the collective agreement crisis between the union and the employer as it does not concern us but we are concerned about the breach of peace, safety and security of the workers as a criminal act had been committed,” he said.
ACP Ismail confirmed that police had arrested 11 workers.
He said seven of them had been released after questioning and the rest would be released soon.