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This is the current status of the Guppy Plastic Industries Sdn. Bhd. Workers Union.

The union which is led by a strong all women team was registered officially on the 27th April 1998 with the help of some comrades from the Community Development Centre (CDC). Just two months after that, the entire Union Protem committee was suspended. Subsequently, three key office bearers- Koyilvani (chairperson), Roshamiza (Secretary) and Kanniamah (Treasurer) was sacked. This did not deter the young workers from continuing. The Union soon gained strength and soon had a membership of 250 members (more than 3/4). The Union then applied for recognition from the Factory Owners.

The Company determined never to have a Union looking upon them, then declared that they have another have another factory in Prai, Pulau Pinag and therefore they cannot give recognition to the union because the Union does not have a majority if both these factory's workers are taken into account. This revelation frustrated the workers and their union. The workers felt that they formed the union to represent their interest in the main company in Cheras Jaya, Selangor and was not aware of the other factory in Prai, Penang.

Slowly but surely the Union started to make inroads into the Prai factory. In spite of numerous threats from the factory owners, the Union started to have meetings and slowly got more workers in Prai factory to join the Union. Slowly membership started to increase in Prai. In Cheras Jaya, the Union also had several small victories.

The owners aware of the threat of the growing Union attempted several dirty tactics to paralyze the Union. Threats and negative propaganda was used to deter union activities.

In recent months, the Union championed the case 12 women who were victimized because they reached the age of 50. The owners gave then a 24-hour sack. The Union fought and the case has been referred to the Industrial Relations Department. With the sacking of the three main office bearers in 1998, the Union continued to function under the able leadership of Rahiman Mansor - The Vice Chairperson and Visaletchumy (Asst. Treasurer).

On the 25th. of August 2001, the duo was suspended because the factory owners claimed that both of them have manipulated a fund for an injured worker initiated by the Employer. The Factory manager also tried unsuccessfully to get the duo arrested by the police for cheating. The police after making the investigation found that there was no cheating involved and the case was closed. In fact the Union initiated the fund for the injured workers and the employer sabotaged this fund. After failing to get the two remaining Union leaders arrested, the Owners have now suspended them.

The factory Owners seem to go for an all out attack on the Union. The Union currently with 5 out of the 6 office bearers outside are continuing their struggle. They have been fighting every issue tooth to nail. The Factory owners are baffled with this kind of strength. When the Union was started two years ago, not even the Trade Union registrar was optimistic with the union because the Union members seem so inexperienced and that they were all women. Today, to their credit, the Industrial Relations Department officers have saluted their courage because they have yet to see a Union with so much fighting spirit. Koyilvani, the sacked Chairperson had this to say, " We are not like the Employers, this work is our life and our family depends on this. The employers have offered me money so that I will leave this struggle, but for me and the rest, the Union is the protector of the working class and I cannot betray the workers, we have no choice but to fight on "

Note - CDC is a front organisation of PSM

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