Wednesday, 21 March 2012
A BLOW TO GENDER EQUALITY!
Appeal court’s appalling decision
Putrajaya, 21 March 2012
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) would like to express its total disappointment with the Appeals Court unanimous decision today in dismissing the application of eight women workers from Guppy Industries.
The three-man bench led by Datuk K. N. Segara was dim-witted as they acted like an apologist to the employer. The judge further went to ridicule and suggest that this case has nothing to do with gender inequality, discrimination nor constitutional rights. Two human – one male and one female;, having two retirement age and not supported by any rationale argument except that other factories practice this, yet for the learned judge this is not discrimination.
Once the court said that the appeal was dismissed, the affected workers rightfully walked out and were not ready to hear the judges explanation. This was because during the entire court proceeding, the Judge was acting in such a bias manner that his verdict was predicted.
Datuk K.N. Segara seems to imply that whatever the employer says even if it is not backed with scientific evidence should be alright as long as it comes from the employer. He dismisses that Industrial court verdict which said that the burden is with the employer to prove that these workers cannot work beyond age 50.
What was so blatant about this judgment is that a rule book in which this new discrimination law was stated was actually introduced very much later after they were employed. The Judge felt that it is fine to introduce these new laws half-way even though the Union and workers then protested against it. The unintelligent judge also told the lawyer that he needs to help the workers form Unions not realizing that the entire union leadership was sacked by the employer when they found out that they were forming a Union.
The Guppy employer dismissed the workers at the age of 50 but offered them all reemployment as contract workers. By employing them as contract workers, the workers will lose more rights and benefits since they were previously permanent workers. By employing them again simply means that the women workers were still capable of working beyond 50 and he even employed one of the worker at the age of 50. The lawyers for the workers, Ragunath Kesavan also showed proved that out of the 29 workers reemployed above 50 years old, 26 were women which is around 90%. This fact itself is enough to justify that the employer was pulling a fast one when he said women workers cannot perform after the age of 50. But all this points seems to fall on the deaf ears of the learned judge who says the company followed practices of other Industries.
The Industrial court which initially ruled in favor of the workers said that this Guppy Union policy was stone age practice and slammed the employer and called the termination unlawfully. Today the Appeal court judges seem to justify these Stone Age discrimination policies.
It was truly blatant that employers can get away with this. What do you expect if we have dumb judges who are themselves bias and do not have a clue what is Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution and CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women)
The workers will now bring their matter to the Federal Court hoping that sanity still exist in our courts.