July 25, 2008: In a victory for both the Polar Twin Advance workers and their supporters in the international solidarity movement, on July 24, Malaysia’s Industrial Relations Department (IRD) determined that PTA must pay back wages to the workers if it wishes to reinstate them. If PTA refuses to pay the back wages, the IRD will refer the case to the concerned minister, which in turn would lead the case to the Industrial Court.
Earlier, the workers went to the Labor Department with their lawyer, but did not file a case with the Labor Court. Their reasoning was that the Labor Court is not as effective of a tool for obtaining justice as the IRD and the associated court. Moreover, the judicial process in the Labor Court may drag on for months before a verdict is reached.