Saturday, July 12, 2014

Has Malaysia banned 'outsourcing' - the 'contractors for labour'? Sue the person who holds worker passport?

A multinational electronics company has denied the accusation that it breached the law by utilising outsourcing agents to employ foreign workers. - but which multinational company? Media  scared to name these companies - and this includes alternate media - Malaysiakini, or is there some new media ruling saying that media should not name employers that have allegedly violated worker rights or the law??? 

PASPORT - If some other holds worker passport, and the worker is arrested, detained etc - it is just wrong in law. In fact, the migrant worker would have a right to sue such employer/agent for the suffering of being arrested and the denial of liberty(detention) all brought about because employer/agent wrongly kept the passport of the worker.

One women worker was arrested in this case, maybe MTUC would assist this worker make this a landmark case - sue the said 'outsourcing agent'- and the courts will decide how much compensation should be paid to the worker for ....'suffering, loss of liberty, etc...' - and I am sure after that employers and their agents who hold on wrongly to passports of their workers will STOP doing this....  

MTUC allegations

- passports of foreign workers employed by the said company were being held by the outsourcing agents

“Since they don’t hold their passports, these workers are at a high risk of getting caught by the police.Currently, one has been caught and is still in the lock-up,”- MTUC Selangor division chairperson Wan Noorul Azhar Mohd Hanafiah
- agents - not the company paying the workers wages, and other matters

And, this is wrong because Malaysia has stopped outsourcing companies - does this mean that Malaysia has stopped the use of contractor for labour system - got rid finally of that 3rd party in the employment relationship? Well, this is good but does it only apply to migrant workers or also LOCAL workers.

I did not know this - many did not know this.... I searched for verification and found the following news report - and later the Malay Mail report below... 

But this is Malaysia, and we really do not know what our Government is doing  - there really is no transparency and accountability. A public notice at the relevant Ministry websiite would have been good - a Gazette would have been good. If not, tomorrow the same Deputy Minister or his Minister may come out and say -- the reporters got it wrong...or I did not mean that we have abolished the 'contractor for labour'...or well, that was really about just removing 'recruiters of workers' in government to government arrangements... not so much removing that 3rd party(middle man) from the employment relationships between people who have work requiring workers(principal/employer) and workers...

Malaysian Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi has announced that the government has terminated the services of outsourcing companies, following the numerous complaints of cheating and abuse of worker rights, reports themalaymailonline.com


Mr Wan Junaidi said:” We stopped using outsourcing companies because of all the cheating and confusion that happened under the system. There is no more outsourcing, now we just use direct dealing with source countries.”  – Malaysia – Government Halts The Use of Outsourcing Companies, 5/12/2013,Staffing Industry Analyst - http://www.staffingindustry.com/row/Research-Publications/Daily-News/Malaysia-Government-halts-the-use-of-outsourcing-companies-28231
See also the Malay Mail Report below ...

 

 Firm denies utilising outsourcing agents


A multinational electronics company has denied the accusation that it breached the law by utilising outsourcing agents to employ foreign workers.

However, according to the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC), passports of foreign workers employed by the said company were being held by the outsourcing agents, which led to the arrest of one such worker.

In making the claim, MTUC Selangor division chairperson Wan Noorul Azhar Mohd Hanafiah (left) told Malaysiakini that although working contracts are from the company, workers’ affairs are handed to the agents to be handled.


The situation involves 200 foreign workers, a majority of them from countries such as Nepal, Myanmar and Indonesia.


“Since they don’t hold their passports, these workers are at a high risk of getting caught by the police.

 
“Currently, one has been caught and is still in the lock-up,” he said.


Initially placed at the Bandar Baru Klang police station, the foreign worker in question was transferred to the Section 9 Shah Alam police station.


A check with the Section 9 Shah Alam police station confirmed she was arrested on July 6.

Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Wan Jaafar (left) had last year confirmed that the government has terminated the services of outsourcing companies due to complaints of workers’ rights abuses.

Noorul Azhar, meanwhile, said that in the case of this particular company, the agents not only held on to workers’ permits and passports, they were also paying the workers’ salaries.

He claimed that these workers were not awarded any bonuses.


“Since they are absorbed into the main company, they should get the same benefits as the other employees,” said Noorul Azhar.


He added that outsourcing agents were also no longer permitted to handle the renewal of a foreign worker’s permit, as the Labour Department had abolished any form of outsourcing in 2012.


“Existing contracts are allowed to continue until it expires, but they cannot be renewed (by agents),” he said.

Malaysiakini has contacted the company involved and it has denied the allegation that it utilises the services of an outsourcing agent.

The company, however, declined comment further.


Meanwhile, a staff of one of the outsourcing agencies, when contacted, confirmed it was responsible for the handling of some of the foreign workers for the electronics company.


She, too, declined to elaborate further. - Malaysiakini, 12/7/2014,
Firm denies utilising outsourcing agents

Home Ministry: No middlemen to hire foreign labour
Foreign workers hold their passports as they gather outside a labour office, after missing a deadline to correct their visa status. — Reuters pic 
Foreign workers hold their passports as they gather outside a labour office, after missing a deadline to correct their visa status. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — Putrajaya has dropped the practice of going through middlemen and is hiring the foreign workers it needs for its factories and farms directly from the country of origin, Parliament was told today.

A recent report noted Malaysia was still using labour brokers to bring in cheap workers from Third World countries like Nepal, but Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the government has terminated the services of “outsourcing companies” following numerous complaints of cheating and abuse of workers’ rights.

“We stopped using outsourcing companies because of all the cheating and confusion that happened under the system. There is no more outsourcing, now we just use direct dealing with source countries,” he said during Question Time in Parliament here.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that an unregulated network comprising tens of thousands of brokers are still supplying cheap, bonded labour to high-technology production lines owned by international companies based out of Malaysia.

The business wire claimed that tens of thousands of families from Asia’s poorest sectors have ended up deep in debt to buy jobs through brokers to work in factories in Malaysia, a manufacturing hub for the global electronics industry.

The report claimed that interviews with 60 Nepalese workers from 22 companies showed proof of a transnational recruiting system that is rife with abuse, and extends into practically all technology that props up the modern world.

Workers interviewed by Bloomberg claimed to have borrowed money or cleared out their life savings to pay up to US$1,800 (RM5,670) to brokers to secure factory jobs here.

On arrival, many complained of having to leave their passports with their new employers and are even expected to pay fees if they need to leave their jobs for whatever reason.

The report claimed that the labour situation may pit the companies in direct violation of an executive order signed by United States President Barack Obama last year, which bans the selling of jobs, no matter how big or small the fees, to overseas workers for companies that provide any goods or services to the US government, according to lawyers who represent federal contractors and those who help trafficking victims. It also applies to subcontractors.

Some of the companies implicated in the report were Sony, Apple, Western Digital, Motorola and Plexus Corp, though all the companies have denied condoning or having direct knowledge of such practices.

Wan Junaidi today acknowledged that the government faced numerous issues when dealing with complaints from foreign workers, who claimed they were not paid their full salaries, did not enjoy the full benefits promised or had no insurance, among other grouses.

He noted, however, that neither the middlemen nor the employers wanted to take responsibility when confronted with the complaints.

“When these issues came up, (the companies) say we are are not the employer, the employer is the outsourcing company. When we go to the outsourcing company, they say they have already handed over the workers to the hiring company,” he said, in explaining the reasons Malaysia ended the middleman system.

To an earlier question, Wan Junaidi said the government has yet to establish whether or not it can issue temporary work permits to foreign workers who have a case against their employers pending in the industrial court.

He agreed with PSM’s Sungai Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar that these workers will need a source of income while they wait for the court to dispose of their cases, but stressed that issuing a temporary permit could lead to legal complications.

Wan Junaidi said currently Malaysia issues monthly passes to foreign workers pursuing cases in the industrial court so they can stay and see their cases through, though it does not allow them to find another job.

“The biggest obstacle is the contract. When a worker signs on with an employer, there is a contract between the two and if a case is not settled, the contract is still pending.

“If we give them the ability to work elsewhere, that means they will have two contracts and that will lead to legal implications on them, the employers and also effects the job,” he said, noting that the ministry will discuss the matter with the Human Resources Ministry. - Malay Mail Online, 5/12/2013, Home Ministry: No middlemen to hire foreign labour
 
2.    ABOLISH THE ‘CONTRACTOR FOR LABOUR SYSTEM’ – ENSURE DIRECT EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORKER AND OWNER/OPERATOR OF WORKPLACES

Direct employment relationship with the owner/operator of the workplace known as the principal, is essential to ensure stable employment, noting that employers do have the obligation to ensure worker rights and welfare are best protected. A contractor for labour (COL) should never be employers, and their role, if any, is to supply workers to owner/operators of workplace or alternatively find workers work with employers who need workers, and for the service rendered they should be paid a fee.
It is the owner/operator of workplaces, known as the principal, who should be having direct employment relationship with workers that work at their workplaces. This demand, amongst others, had been made vide the joint statement by 93 groups dated 3/5/2012 entitled, ‘Abolish the ‘Contractor for Labour’ system - Withdraw the 2012 amendments to Employment Act 1955’, and also vide the earlier statement by 115 groups on 28/10/2011 entitled,‘Malaysia Must Protect Worker and Union Rights, and withdraw proposed unjust amendments to Employment Act - Labour Suppliers Should Not Be Employers’. We also draw attention to the Malaysian Bar Resolution of 2012 expressing the same sentiment, which amongst others said ‘The Malaysian Bar takes the stand that labour suppliers and/or contractors of labour should never be or continue to be employers of workers after they are supplied, accepted and start working at the workplaces of principals or owners. Thereafter, these workers shall be employees of the principal or owners of the workplace.’ We also recall the MTUC initiated pickets and protests against the ‘contractor for labour system’.  - 47 Groups :- WORKER AND TRADE UNION RIGHTS MUST BE PRIORITIZED FOR THE WELLBEING OF THE WORKER AND THEIR FAMILIES




1 comment:

John Dudley said...

IT staff outsourcing services through proven and tested software development strategies, so that big companies of the work and also able to give tough competitions to others.