The National Union of Banking Employees (Nube) has called on the Ministry of Human Resources and the Department of Trade Union Affairs to grant travel permission to its officials so that they can better represent the interests of banking employees affected by the ongoing lockdown.
The union claims that the department’s actions in refusing to grant travel permission act in contradiction to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention - to which Malaysia is a signatory.
“After a series of email communications, the ministry asked Nube to provide justifications for the travel permission application and after we had provided the justifications, they only responded on June 8.
"The department informed that it would not issue any travel permission letter; instead it asked Nube to obtain a 'one-off permission letter for a limited period from the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM)' for the purpose of salary payment,” Nube secretary-general J Solomon said in a statement yesterday.
Solomon stressed that the scope of Nube’s duties is not limited to only providing salaries to its employees - which is an aspect that Nube believes the department and the ministry fail to understand.
“Trade unions including Nube are not regulated by PDRM but come under the Department of Trade Union Affairs and the Ministry of Human Resources.
"In the early stage of the movement control order 3.0, when we referred to the PDRM, they advised us to obtain travel permission from the Ministry of Human Resources as we are subject to the ministry,” he said.
Besides denying inter-district and inter-state travel, individuals are barred from travelling beyond the 10km allowed in the ongoing lockdown - which is set to last from June 1 to 14.
In a statement on June 6, Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said that those seeking to travel beyond the 10km radius for work purposes are required to seek permission letters (dated from June 1 onwards) from any of the following 10 authorities:
International Trade and Industries (Miti) Ministry; Transport Ministry; Agriculture and Food Industries Ministry; Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry; Bank Negara Malaysia; Securities Commission; Local Government; Communications and Multimedia Ministry; Home Ministry; and the police
“Our big question is, can’t Nube officers and staff be given travel permission during MCO 3.0 to safeguard the welfare and interests of employees from 24 banks during the current pandemic, and especially those who are given VSS (voluntary separation scheme) and MSS (mutual agreement separation schemes) severance packages by HSBC Bank Malaysia?” said Solomon.
Solomon has on a number of previous occasions expressed his disappointment with the ministry for not taking action against HSBC over the VSS and MSS schemes implementation - which he claims has adversely affected many of the union members.