Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Foreign workers punished - forced to play "volleyball with stones" and refusal results in beatings?

Workers, and migrant workers too, are human beings and deserve to be treated with dignity. The allegations of torture - forced to play 'volleyball with stones', beaten with sticks, etc are  serious violations of worker rights, human rights and even Malaysian law. 

The allegation of denying workers suddenly of bus that tansports them to work - forcing them to walk an hour to work is also wrong.

Do workers, migrant workers, have REAL access to justice in Malaysia? Sadly, I would have to say the answer is 'NO'. Migrant workers can lodge complaints at the Human Resource Department(formerly known as the Labour Department) or even the police - but then many employers will just terminate the services of these workers and cause their employment pass/visa to be terminated - denying workers the right to remain legally in Malaysia. These 'illegal migrants' are then tracked, arrested, detained, charged in court or deported. Remember, the sentence now for remaining in Malaysia 'illegally' includes 2 caning..

Because of the inefficient, or really 'absent' REAL access to justice, migrant workers have 2 choices - (1) To suffer the exploitation, violation of rights, cheating, 'torture', etc and continue to work; OR (2) To highlight and 'fight' for justice...and now, the only means from the migrant perspective is to picket, protest or go on 'strike'... [And when there is a big hoo-hah at the factory, the media gets interested and report the incidents....]. The solution really is for the government to put in place a more effective system to access justice for migrant workers - something that is speedy, and also give workers claiming rights the ability to stay and work legally in Malaysia...

A Malaysian worker exploited by an employer has the CHOICE to leave that employer and seek employment with another employer... Maybe, this right to change employer should be extended to migrant workers - the onus being on employers to then register and 'legalize' the worker..

The relevant human resource department should also become PROACTIVE making regular spot-checks at places of employment - making sure that employees are not being cheated or exploited...

It is a loss of faith in the government and relevant authorities that results in stronger actions from aggrieved workers... The perception of many workers, not just migrant workers, is that the authorities are pro-employer... This perception must be changed, and the onus is with the government...

So what will happen in this case - will some workers be arrested and charged? Will some be terminated and sent off? Will the government take any action these employers or their management staff? Or will there be a 'blackout' in reporting and employer wrongs all be 'swept under the carpet'?

Workers will want to know outcome of these cases - what action taken against the employers, etc - and maybe these information should be publicly available at the Ministry or relevant department websites... That will impact the perspective of workers to the authorities - they will know that 'bad employers' cannot escape...

Workers are losing...Malaysian workers who take actions for worker rights just get terminated....Union leaders who are vocal and active just get terminated... Malaysian present government must really stop these 'persecution' of workers... See:-

What happened to the 18 workers terminated by DRB HICOM subsidiaries? 


Malaysian Airlines takes disciplinary SG of NUFAM and 30 others - Union Busting?

54 groups and unions:- Malaysian Airlines Must Respect Trade Union and Worker Rights Cease Anti-Union activities against NUFAM and its members


Migrant workers voted in 'secret ballot' for union recognition, terminated and send back to country of origin?

I believe the workers would not have burned the car, etc if not for what the employer did - so, who is at fault? 

1500 Migrant Workers Strike for 36 Hours Following Death of Migrant Worker

Will the AG charge the employer for the death of the Nepali worker in Pokok Sena, Kedah? Will there be an autopsy to determine cause of death? 

Remembering the JCY's 5,000 Workers Protest 2010 - maybe the biggest workers' protest in Malaysia for many years

3:35PM Aug 26, 2014

Workers torch car in 'stone volleyball' riot

A manager had allegedly forced a group of foreign workers to play "volleyball with stones" and those who refused were beaten with a stick.
The incident is said to have sparked off a riot outside the factory in Kulai, Johor, this morning, which witnessed hundreds of enraged workers throwing stones and torching a car belonging to a management staff.
According to a source, who works in the area, the "stone volleyball" was punishment for workers who took part in a protest at a sister factory in Tebrau over the death of a fellow worker.

The worker had allegedly died after he was refused treatment. However, there is no other information regarding this case.

The riot, which started at 10am, lasted for more than an hour until it was diffused by the police Federal Reserve Unit (FRU).
Despite numerous attempts, Malaysiakini could not get comments from the management.

One staff member, who answered the call, said: "The company is closed today, call tomorrow... call tomorrow, I don’t know anything... call tomorrow and speak to the manager."

Meanwhile, The Star Online quoted a representative of the workers, Kishor Rai, 23, claiming that the company abused the workers, mostly Nepalese, on daily basis and they could not take it anymore.

"When we make mistakes, they hit us and this is just unfair.

"In fact, due to an earlier disagreement, the management even refused to send us our usual bus and we were forced to walk for about 1 hour to get to work,"
he was quoted as saying.- Malaysiakini, 26/8/2014, Workers torch car in 'stone volleyball' riot

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