Demand fresh polls, NUBE members told


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 06 Nov 2003

BY SIM LEOI LEOI

PUTRAJAYA: The 28,000 members of the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) and other trade unions must pressure opposing factions in the NUBE to call for fresh elections, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr Fong Chan Onn. 

He said it was the only measure available which could help resolve the internal crisis in NUBE. 

“Under the present Trade Unions Act, fresh elections can only be called if opposing sides agree to it. As it is now, both factions cannot seem to agree on anything. 

“The last recourse now is for the other trade unions and the 28,000 members in NUBE to exert sufficient pressure on these two sides to agree,” he said at the ministry's post-Cabinet meeting yesterday. 

“If MTUC has any suggestion on how this can be achieved, I will welcome it,” he added. 

He was responding to a statement by MTUC president Zainal Rampak that the body was against any proposal by the ministry to amend the Act to intervene in the NUBE crisis. 

Dr Fong said the time had now come for other trade unions to make their voice known as the crisis was starting to affect the image of NUBE and the trade union movement in general. 

“Even if NUBE members were to hand over a signed petition allowing the ministry to step in, we still can’t do it because our powers are limited under the present Act. 

“Only they can push their exco members to call for fresh elections,” he said, adding that the ministry was concerned that the union was still collecting fees from its members. 

“As it is, these monies are not being accounted for,” he pointed out. 

On Tuesday, Dr Fong had said the ministry would review the Trade Unions Act and Industrial Relations Act to empower them to resolve problems in NUBE.  

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