Hundreds of National Union of Banking Employees members created a carnival-like atmosphere along the row of banks on Jalan Kampung Genuang, Segamat and picketed against caretaker Human Resource Minister, S Subramaniam.
Subramaniam, who is the incumbent for the Segamat parliament seat, is seeking re-election in the upcoming 13th general election.
The members, clad in red vowed to see Subramaniam defeated on Sunday.
They danced and sang “Tolak Subra” (Reject Subra) to the tune of various songs and waved large Nube flags.
The deafening drums and vuvuzelas and passing cars honked to the tune of the Nube songs.
The picketers also danced to the tune of popular South Korean hit ‘Gangnam Style’ and chanted “Arise workers, long live the workers!”
Nube president Tan Hong Eng, said Nube will continue to picket for the next two days in a bid to create awareness among the local Segamat folk about Subramaniam’s track record and urge them to reject him.
He also reiterated that Nube is apolitical and not playing politics by picketing so close to the general election.
“It so happens that the general election is only four days away from May 1 and so we are celebrating Workers Day.
“We are only targeting Subramaniam in Segamat because he has victimised the workers,” he said.
Tan also said that Nube has a long list of complaints against Subra, starting from refusal to dissolve the creation of an internal union in the country’s largest bank, Maybank.
“There are many other problems like the termination of our members by banks for their union activities and the delay in implementing the raising of the private sector retirement age to 60 which was supposed to be on Jan 1, 2013 but has been delayed by Subra to July 1, 2013 – this delay will affect 500,000 workers,” he said.
The picket went on for a total of two hours before they dispersed.
In an immediate reaction published by Malaysiakini, Subramaniam said Maybank’s internal union was formed at the request of 4,500 of its members.
He also described Nube’s allegation that he was out to destroy unions as “frivolous, vexatious and baseless” and claimed it is aimed at helping the opposition to erode worker’s support for BN.
“The Malaysian workers who are the backbone for national development are matured and intelligent and they cannot be manipulated through incorrect and falsified propaganda by few irresponsible unionists who are using the 13th general election as a platform to support the opposition,” he said.