Thursday, August 28, 2014

'threw stone at private parts' of worker - If true, take action against any employer/staff/person that torture workers?

What is happening in Kulai is related to what happened in the Tebrau factory, which now allegedly  is a JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of JCY International Bhd. This belief on the name of the factory involved comes from media reports. 

{Now, is JCY the employer? We are not sure....because today many factory owner-operators try to avoid employment relationships with the workers who work in the factory - one way is to get workers from 3rd parties(known as contractors for labour) who supply the factory with workers who will be considered employees of the supplying third party - not the employees of the factory. A move to avoid unionization and collective agreements. A way to avoid responsibility and obligations for the promotion and protection of worker rights, avoid responsibility for violations, etc ... There are other methods also used to avoid responsibility to workers...That is why we need to campaign for DIRECT EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP with all the workers that work at your factory...}

The protests and action by workers allegedly started with the death of a Nepali migrant workers, which the workers say the employers were allegedly negligent in not sending the deceased worker for medical treatment. Interestingly, a similar issue happened in 2010, and after worker protest, the situation was resolved vide an agreement by JCY... it was considered a 'Good Practice'....but 

The foreigners had, on Sunday, protested against the management of a factory, following the death of a Nepali worker.

On Monday, they demanded higher wages from the management and a mini-clinic to be built in the compound.- Star, 16/8/2010, Foreign workers run riot at factory enclave
Press Release - 17/8/2010

In  response  to the  recent  foreign  workers  issues  at  JCY HDD  Technology  Sdn.  Bhd.’s sub-contractor  hostels  at  Kawasan  Perindustrian  Tebrau  IV,  Johor  Bahru,  both  the company and the  foreign worker representatives  have  met  this afternoon and the  issues had been resolved amicably with the workers returning to work immediately.

Among  the  key  issues  highlighted  by  the  foreign  workers,  the management  had  in conjunction  with  the  sub-contactor  for  the  hostel,  shall  take  remedial  actions  as summarized below:

1.  Company  will  provide  a  vehicle  and  driver  on  24  hour  standby  at  the  main hostel to facilitate the emergency transportation of worker to hospital for any emergency treatments.
2.  The  company  had  agreed  to  revise  and  standardize  the  pay  structure  of  the workers.
3.  The  criteria  for  the  deduction  of  salary  in  relations  to  worker  coming  to factory late shall be revised and improved.
4.  On  top  of  the  normal  workmen  compensation  benefits,  the  company  had agreed to improve the contribution to the beneficiary of the worker. 

The  management  of  the  company  stressed  that  JCY  had  always  aim  to  provide  a conducive environment for the workers to work and stay. The company will continue to work closely with the hostel’s sub-contractor to take care of the workers welfare and JCY truly  valued  the  contribution  made  by  the  workers  and  staffs  to  the  success  of  the company. - JCY International Website

The question arises whether JCY is still complying with the agreement for once again there is a death of a worker and allegations of failure on the part of the factory .See -1500 Migrant Workers Strike for 36 Hours Following Death of Migrant Worker

Allegedly, some 20 factory workers involved in the earlier protest in Tebrau were transferred to to the Kulai factory - and there have been allegations of torture -   

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 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... - - Malaysiakini, 26/8/2014, Workers torch car in 'stone volleyball' riot
Now, my hope is that the authorities do not just take criminal and other actions on these workers - but will investigate the ROOT CAUSE - which from the media reports point the finger to the employer, management, supervisor, third part contractors, etc...

It would also be best that  JCY International immediately steps in and resolve this issue as was done in 2010 - for at the end of the day, this really is a labour issue. 

Now, when a large group of workers/people are protesting and claiming rights, there is likely to be some 'bad apples' that may go overboard, and as such the workers in general should not be blamed for the acts of a few. Were the ones who did the 'violence' workers? Were they some 'agent provocateur', some outside trouble maker, some employer's agent, some....?

The police, if they are going to take action, must focus their action on the identified few who damaged the car, committed arson, etc - and not take this opportunity to target worker leaders and the workers generally. Likewise, action should also be taken against management, staff or the employer for the 'torture'. We have heard of workers being arrested, but no employer's representatives - why is that?
the violence was sparked when the workers were made to play volleyball using a rock as the ball. Mohanadas [Malaysian Trade Union Congress Johor secretary K Mohanadas] said that workers told him this was punishment for some 20 workers transferred from Tebrau to Kulaijaya."The workers also say that the supervisor threw a stone at one of their private parts, sparking the violence,” he said. -- Malaysiakini, 27/8/2014,Factory torched as Kulai riot escalates

If  you ' threw a stone at one of their private parts' , I am sure that most people will react. Has the supervisor who allegedly threw the stone at the private parts of the worker been investigated or arrested? Has the manager or the staff who initiated the torture been arrested?

Factory torched as Kulai riot escalates

Violence at a Kulai factory escalated last night with a portion of the factory was torched, after discussions between worker and factory management fell through.

According to police, 44 workers, mostly of Nepalese origin were detained following two incidents of rioting, the first of which occurred at 10am resulting in a torched car.

Workers allegedly set ablaze the factory store and damaged three other buildings owned by the public-listed electronics company JCY International Bhd by throwing stones at the buildings at about 8pm.

The fire was put out by the fire department at 10.05 pm. No injuries were reported.

According to Kulaijaya Deputy District Police Chief DSP Mohd Idris Samsuri, among the rioters, 13 were arrested last night while the rest were arrested after the earlier incident.

They were arrested under Section 148 of the Penal Code, which deals with possession of missiles at a riot.

“Currently the workers are being remanded and actions to be taken are being discussed with the (Nepalese) embassy.”

Mohd Idris said the police have also arranged a meeting between representative of the detained workers and the company management, with embassy personnel present to act as mediator and translator.

He said that the second rioting incident sparked at about 4pm when a meeting between workers and management “went out of hand”

He said that the management had only agreed to give workers a day off from work, and not accede to other demands.

'Beaten if mistakes made at work'

According to Malaysian Trade Union Congress Johor secretary K Mohanadas, the workers had complained of lack of access to medical services and poor living and work conditions.

“The workers were dissatisfied as the highlighted grievances were not addressed.

“These include failure to get medical attention, resulting in death in the Tebrau factory (belonging to the same company), poor living conditions, no overtime and alleged beating if they make mistakes at work.

“The hostel condition is really bad with up to 35 people in a shophouse,”
he said when contacted.

Yesterday, Malaysiakini reported that the violence was sparked when the workers were made to play volleyball using a rock as the ball.

Mohanadas said that workers told him this was punishment for some 20 workers transferred from Tebrau to Kulaijaya.

"The workers also say that the supervisor threw a stone at one of their private parts, sparking the violence,” he said.

Asked of claims of abuse, police chief Mohd Idris said that he has no information on this and directed Malaysiakini to the company.

When contacted, the company said it is closed for the day and cannot entertain media queries.

It, however, acknowleged the "unrest" in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

Mohanadas said the company also told MTUC that it is too busy to speak to union representatives today.

He added that MTUC has also informed the Bar Council, who is sending a team of lawyers to assist the workers.

KAMLES KUMAR is a trainee journalist with Malaysiakini.- Malaysiakini, 27/8/2014,Factory torched as Kulai riot escalates

Updated: Wednesday August 27, 2014 MYT 9:26:40 AM

Striking workers in Kulaijaya torch factory building

JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd building burning.
JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd building burning.
KULAIJAYA: Some 800 workers of a factory here set fire to the building Tuesday night after they had stoned their employers office and burned down a car earlier in the day.

The workers, mostly from Nepal, set the electronics manufacturing plant in the Kelapa Sawit Industrial Area on fire around 8pm.

The Fire and Rescue Department arrived at the scene to control the fire at 8.38pm after receiving a distress call some 13 minutes before that.

The department managed to put out the fire at around 10.05pm.

JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd building burning

This was following a strike staged by the workers due to alleged mistreatment by their employers.

It was reported that they started gathering outside the JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd building from 8am on Tuesday and things got out of hand when some of them began to hurl stones and other objects at the management office and set fire to one of the employers’ cars.

The angry crowd also damaged three other blocks owned by the company.

Just last Thursday at the company’s branch at the Tebrau IV Industrial Area, near Johor Baru, some 1,500 workers also showed their dissatisfaction over the company’s alleged negligence in handling the health issue of a worker, leading to his death.

They threw pieces of metal and glass, electronic items, chairs and boots from their four-storey hostel, smashing the glass windows of a guard post.- Star, 27/8/2014, Striking workers in Kulaijaya torch factory building

...Meanwhile, 42 Nepalese workers were arrested following a riot by more than 800 workers at an electronics manufacturing factory in the Kelapa Sawit industrial area in Kulaijaya.

Kulaijaya deputy OCPD Deputy Supt Mohad Idris Samsuri said the workers were picked up after they set fire to the JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd's building along Jalan Gangsa around 8pm on Tuesday.

He said some 1,000 foreign workers had assembled at the area in the morning. While some dispersed when police arrived, the others remained to take part in the riot until evening.

The riot came in the wake of an incident at another JCY branch at the Tebrau IV industrial area near Johor Baru last Thursday.

There, some 1,500 workers, apparently unhappy over the company's handling of a worker's welfare, threw pieces of metal and other items from their four-storey hostel, besides overturning a parked van.

"Some 60 per cent of those who gathered there were Nepalese nationals and 42 were arrested because they refused to disperse. Instead, they turned violent," said DSP Mohd Idris on the Kulaijaya riot.

Plant general manager, who wanted to be known as Liaw, confirmed that the plant was not operating yesterday due to Tuesday's incident.

A statement released by JCY Inter­national Bhd yesterday said JCY HDD Technology, its wholly owned subsidiary, would be temporarily shut.

It added that the company was taking measures to reach an amicable settlement with the workers. - AsiaOne Malaysia, 28//8/2014, Unpaid workers burn eatery in Malaysia

Published: Wednesday August 27, 2014 MYT 1:56:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday August 27, 2014 MYT 1:58:14 PM

JCY assessing impact of worker unrest, fire at Johor plant

KUALA LUMPUR: Hard disk drive manufacturer JCY International Bhd is assessing the impact of the worker unrest and fire at one of its factories in Kulaijaya, Johor.

It said on Wednesday the incident at its unit JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd the previous day had caused a temporary shutdown of the factory's operation at that location.

"However, there were no major damages to the factories and properties of the company and its subsidiaries," it said in a statement to Bursa Malaysia. 

JCY said the damages to the factories and properties did not pose any material impact on the financial performance and financial position of the group for the financial year ending Sept 30, 2014.

"There are no disruptions to all other operations of the group located outside Kulaijaya District," it added.

JCY said the company was "taking active steps and measures" to address the matter and to reach an amicable settlement with the workers. - Star, 27/8/2014, JCY assessing impact of worker unrest, fire at Johor plant

Malaysian Police Detain 42 Foreigners After Rioting At Export Unit In Johor

on August 27 2014 7:24 AM
Malaysian police
Malaysian police arrested foreigners riot factory, workers mostly Nepalese riot export factory Malaysia, riot factory Johor state JCY International, Malaysian police arrested foreigners riot factory JCY International Reuters 

Malaysian police arrested 42 foreigners after nearly 1,000 workers rioted at an electronics goods factory Tuesday. The workers, mostly Nepalese nationals, were protesting poor working conditions, an endemic issue at plants employing foreign workers in the Southeast Asian country.

The rioting sparked fires and destroyed components inside the factory, which is located in the southern industrial hub of Johor state. The factory was run by JCY International, a Malaysian company that manufactures parts for electronics giants such as Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005935), Hitachi Ltd (TYO:6501) and Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC).

The workers in the factory had accused JCY of neglecting working conditions at the facility following the death of an employee last week after complaining of chest pain, Reuters reported, citing local news reports.

The Johor factory reportedly suspended operations on Wednesday.

“This was caused by a misunderstanding between the employer and employees over the terms of their work,” Mohad Idris Samsuri, the district's deputy police chief, told Reuters, adding that the arrested men would be charged under the country's anti-rioting law.

Meanwhile, JCY issued a statement to investors, saying that the conflict would not impact the company’s business.

“The company is currently taking active steps and measures to address the above matter and to reach an amicable settlement with the workers,” JCY reportedly said in the statement.- International Business Times, 27/8/2014

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police have arrested 44 men after a riot by up to 1,000 mostly Nepalese workers sparked fires and destroyed parts of an electronics export factory, highlighting accusations of poor conditions for many of the estimated four million foreign workers in the South-east Asian country.

The riot broke out in Johor on Tuesday at a factory run by JCY International, a Malaysian company that makes parts for electronic giants including Samsung, Hitachi and Western Digital. During the incident, the workers also stoned the office section of the factory and burned a car.

Workers had accused the company of negligence following the death last Thursday of an employee at a nearby JCY factory who had complained of chest pains, according to local news reports.

The unrest spilled over to the company's other factory in Kulaijaya, police said, culminating in a stand-off between riot police and protesters - Straits Times, 28/8/2014 - See more at:

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