Jun 222010
 

A busy morning alas, forgive me as merely reprint a statement released while I was travelling, speaking to the mistreatment once again of migrant workers.

STOP PENALIZING WORKERS WHO WANT TO GET JUSTICE
- MAXTER GLOVE SHOULD REINSTATE BURMESE MIGRANT
WORKER WHO COMPLAINED TO LABOUR DEPARTMENT

We, the undersigned 66 organizations, groups and networks, concerned about migrant and worker rights, are appalled at the treatment of workers at Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn Bhd (229862-H), at its factory at Lot 6070, Jalan Haji Abdul Manan, 6th Miles off Jalan Meru, Klang, Selangor, Malaysia.

We are appalled at the dismissal of Thu Maung, a Burmese migrant worker, who courageously lodged a complaint at the Labour Department to claim his rights as a worker. Claiming worker rights by lodging complaints against errant employers at the Labour Department is the proper and legally recognized procedure in Malaysia. It is very wrong for employers to discriminate against and/or terminate workers who are exercising their legal rights. It is also wrong for employers to discourage and/or threaten workers from seeking justice, when worker rights are being violated.

Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn Bhd is a subsidiary of Supermax Corporation Berhad. Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn Bhd is a gloves manufacturer that makes Latex Powdered Examination gloves, Clorinated & Polymer Coated Latex Powder Free gloves, Nitrile Gloves and Sterile surgical gloves which is also exported overseas. Supermax Corporation Berhad is an established company, that according to their 2009 Annual Report made an after-tax profit of about RM126 million.

On 23rd March 2010, Thu Maung and another Burmese migrant worker from Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn Bhd lodged a complaint at the Subang Jaya Labour Department. Their complaints, amongst others, was that the employer:-

a. had wrongfully deducted levy, that employers have to pay when they employ migrant workers, from the worker’s wages,

b. had unlawfully deducted the medical check-up fees of RM1000 from the worker’s wages,

c. had wrongfully withheld 2 months wages,

d. had failed to provide the migrant worker with accommodation,

e. had not been giving the workers one rest day per week,

f. had made the workers work overtime(sometimes up to 13 hours per day), and also on public holidays and rest days, and had thereafter failed to pay overtime wages and wages for working on rest days and/or public holidays at the statutorily stipulated rates.

On 23rd March, Thu Maung and another had also lodged a complaint at the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM).

On 12 April 2010, Thu Maung went again to the Labour Department in Rawang and gave a detailed complaint, whereby the Rawang Labour Department did record the complaint and forward the same to the Labour Department office in Port Klang, because they said that the Port Klang Labour Office, has the requisite jurisdiction since the employer, Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, is in Klang.

According to Thu Maung, after about 1 month since the lodging of the complaint at the Subang Jaya Labour office, company’s representatives started intimidating workers individually by asking them who had complained to the Labour Department, and whether they were also going to complain to the Labour Department. This form of intimidation of workers is deplorable. This kind of actions by employers has the tendency of instilling fear and preventing workers from claiming their legally recognized labour rights.

On 28 April 2010, Thu Maung’s supervisor at the company, for no reason, suddenly asked him to return the worker’s pass and not to come back to work. Thu Maung was wrongfully terminated, and he verily believes that this was done just because he had complained to the Labour Department, and was perceived as the leader of the workers who wanted to claim their rights.

It is even worse when the worker is a migrant worker, for a termination will usually mean a cancellation of the work visa, and deportation back to their home country. This also would mean that they would not be able to even pursue their claims at the Labour Department, Labour Courts, Industrial Relations Department, Industrial Courts and/or Civil Courts as the physical presence of the complainant and/or litigant is necessary for the continuation of process of claiming rights.

The practice of terminating, cancellation of work visa and immediate deportation is a blatant disregard of the laws in Malaysia that exist to protect worker rights.

Work passes in Malaysia allow workers to work only for a specific employer – and hence a termination would leave the worker with no ability to work and earn a living legally in Malaysia, while he awaits the determination of the process that may give the worker justice. Cancellation of the work pass also makes his stay in Malaysia illegal, and he risk being arrested, detained and deported.

It is sad that the current laws and practices of Malaysia, which used to employ more than 2 million migrant workers have not been amended yet to ensure that workers who claim their rights are not wrongfully terminated and sent back.

Whilst there is a clear provision in the Industrial Relations Act 1967, that is section 5, which explicitly prohibits employers (or persons acting on behalf of employers) from discriminating, threatening, dismissing or acting negatively against workers who are interested in forming, joining, and/or encouraging other workers to join trade unions, there is no similar clear provision in law protecting workers who want to claim their worker rights through the Labour Departments and other available avenues. As an example, section 5(1)(c) and (d) of the Industrial Relations Act 1967is as follows:-

(1) No employer or trade union of employers, and no person action on behalf of an employer or such trade union shall -

…. (c) discriminate against any person in regard to employment, promotion, any condition of employment or working conditions on the ground that he is or is not a member or officer of a trade union;

(d) dismiss or threaten to dismiss a workman, injure or threaten to injure him in his employment or alter or threaten to alter his position to his prejudice by reason that the workman -
(i) is or proposes to become, or seeks to persuade any other person to become, a member or officer of a trade union; or
(ii) participates in the promotion, formation or activities of a trade union; or…

There should be a similar clear provision in law that will prevent employers from harassing, threatening, discriminating and/or dismissing workers that claim their worker rights using existing avenues of complaints and remedies. The act of employers impeding, dismissing (or threathening to dismiss) workers who claim their worker rights should also be made an offence with a hefty fine. Workers should also receive a significant sum in exemplary damages, over and above their claim. Deterrence is needed to stop this unhealthy practice of employers violating worker rights, and preventing them access to justice.

In the case of Thu Maung, we call for the immediate reinstatement of Thu Maung without any loss of benefits.

We call on Dato’ Seri Stanley Thai, Executive Chairman cum Group Managing Director of Supermax Corporation Berhad, to ensure that the wrong done by their subsidiary, Maxter Glove Manufacturing Sdn Bhd, to Thu Maung and other workers in the said company is ended, and that all workers are paid forthwith what has been wrongly deducted from their wages, monies that have wrongly been withheld returned, outstanding overtime payments, and that all legitimate claims are settled.

We call on the government of Malaysia to do the needful, including enacting laws that will deter employers in Malaysia from exploiting workers, and also protect workers that claim their worker rights from the negative acts of repercussion and/or ‘revenge’ by some bad employers.

We also call on the government of Malaysia to ensure that all migrant workers can continue to stay and work legally in Malaysia until their cases in the Labour Department, Labour Courts, Industrial Relations Department, Industrial Courts and/or Civil Courts, and appeals thereafter are completed.

Charles Hector
Pranom Somwong

For and on behalf of the following 66 organizations

ALIRAN, Malaysia

Alliance of Health Workers Philippines

Arakan League for Democracy (ALD-LA-MALAYSIA)

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)

Asian Migrant Centre (AMC)

Asian Migrants Coordinating Body-Hong Kong (AMCB)

Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers in HK (ATKI-HK)

BAYAN USA.

BOMSA, Dhaka, Bangladesh

BUGKOS

Burma Campaign, Malaysia

Burma Partnership

Canada-Philippines Solidarity for Human Rights (Vancouver, BC Canada)

Center for Japanese-Filipino Families

Clean Clothes Campaign -International Secretariat

Committee for Asian Women (CAW)

Communication Union of Australia (Vic Branch)

Empower, Chiang Mai

Filipino Migrant Center

Frank-Hubner-Scholl Resistance Movement of the White Rose

Free Burma Campaign Singapore (FBCSG)

Friends of Burma, Malaysia

Gabriela-Taiwan

IMA Research Foundation, Bangladesh

Institute for National and Democratic Studies of Indonesia (INDIES)

Interfaith Cooperation Forum

KAFIN-Migrante (Saitama)

Kafin Migrant Center, Japan

Labour Behind the Label, United Kingdom

MADPET – Malaysians against Death Penalty and Torture

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC)

May 1st Coalition for Worker & Immigrant Rights, USA

Mekong Migration Network (MMN)

Migrante Aotearoa New Zealand

Migrante B.C. (Canada)

Migrante Denmark

Migrante Europe

Migrante International

Migrante-Middle East

Migrante Nagoya

Migrante Taiwan

Migrante UK.

Migranteng Ilonggo sa Taiwan

National League for Democracy [NLD (LA)], Malaysia

National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR), U.S.

Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia (NAMM)

PAN Asia and the Pacific

Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM)

Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (EMPOWER)

Persatuan Masyarakat Malaysia & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)

Philippines Australia Union

Philippine Society in Japan

PINAY (Filipino Women’s Organization in Quebec)

Pusat Komas

Rights Jessore, India

Shan Refugee Organization, Malaysia

Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), Malaysia

The Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)

The Best Friend Library – Chiang Mai, Thailand

The Hong Kong Coalition for Free Burma Campaign

Think Centre Singapore

United Indonesians against Overcharging (PILAR)

United Filipinos in Hong Kong

Workers Hub for Change (WH4C)

YASANTI, Indonesia

ZOMI National Congress- Malaysia

  8 Responses to “Worker fired for lodging complaint with Labour Dept”

  1. This is very well organised appeal letter. Excellent. There should be some kind f human rights caucus in parliament focussing on specific themes like this one. It can generate visibility on the abuse of migrant workers and refugees. Such abuses are rampant when migrants and refugees are always under the radar and do not have protection of laws.

  2. [...] from Malaysia uploads a letter from labor groups highlighting the case of a migrant worker who was fired by an employer after lodging a complaint with the labor [...]

  3. Migrant workers rights has ben revoked by the employers.

    Regards to all the violation such as levy deduction on their salary, no overtime payment, no rest days within a week, works on Sundays and Public Holidays with same pay (no double pay) and many more.. Could anyone assist me to whom shall we complain.

    Your kind assistance is much appreciated.

  4. Pls Never mind our english is no good.
    This cmpny why take Lievi Charges in foriegn worker,forever malaysia lievi also free,, but this cmpny take all workers leivi RM:1200 Min per year.
    pls you Take Action this Golsta Factory:
    I shall be very Thankfull to you.
    Compony Address:
    No11 jalan TTc 30,taman Tecknology cheng 75260 Melaka
    Thanks
    Dear Sir,
    I M Waiting for your Kindness…….

  5. hi this is pritam
    i have done work with the company till 8-29 nov 10 on 29 after the shift had finished they said i need to leave the job..
    so they took something written on the page..
    that i m leaving job by my own will..
    so even that i did’t say anything now they guys r denying to give my salary for the days i have done work with them…

    so plz help me in that case & so i can my salary

  6. House of Air Cleaners Sdn Bhd is a subsidary of Applied Air Quality Sdn Bhd. I work for 2 years. Last month my employer House Of Air Cleaners Sdn Bhd they tranfers me to Applied Air Quality for training purpose. But during the days im at Applied Air Quality, there are no training at all even everyday they ask me to write a daily reports for them but they refuse to let me go out see my clients. I have no choice to tender my resignations. And the day itself they give me a letters for last day notice is tomorow. Then when 1 May i went to collect my salary and they refuse to give me due they said few clients namecard is missing. And they purposely ask me to find the namecard and only they will withdraw the salary for me and allowances. I intend to complaint this matters to labour department soon.

  7. I’m HR staff need to ask an question regarding 1 of my staff having an accident. The day of accident he’s on Rest Day. His situation now, still admit in the Hospital KL. My question is :-

    1) Do i need to calculate his salary together with his allowance
    2) Did he entitle for the hospitalization of 60 days?

  8. what meaning of below:

    during probation period,this appointment may be terminated by either party giving the other 1week’s notice in writing or 1 week salary in lieu of notice without assigning any reasons therefore and management reserves the right to terminate your services within 24 hours.

    kindly reply me as soon.top urgent.

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