Monday, September 01, 2014

Until Malaysia ensure rights of migrant workers are protected efficiently and speedily...?

Migrant workers in Malaysia know very well the precarious nature of their employment in Malaysia. Workers, generally, will not resort to protests, pickets, strikes or industrial action unless they are forced to take such actions. They risk the 'all too easy possibility of termination', and in the case of migrant workers, this may follow with a cancellation of their employment pass/visa - meaning that they can no longer remain legally in Malaysia after this happens,...

The problem in Malaysia is that the 'access to justice' mechanisms are perceived to be ineffective by many. Workers lodge complaints (or inform) the Human Resource Department - but SEE nothing happening fast and effectively. They do not see the Labour Department officials coming down 'immediately' to investigate and resolve the problems. Same thing is perceived by many when it comes to the police and other enforcement bodies. 

At the Human Resource Department, after a complaint is lodged, there is a need for IMMEDIATE action - and keeping the complainant informed of actions taken and other development. If this is absent. many a complainant began to feel it was all a waste of time .... and there is loss of faith in the actions of authorities. The relevant department/authorities must review their modus operandi to something that will regain the confidence of workers. 

There is also a general perception that the relevant authorities are 'friendly' with employers, management and staff..... and there is also a perception of discrimination. Relevant officers in the Labour Department, Police and ...must be trained to behave in an unbiased manner ...interested only in justice. 

LABOUR DISPUTE BETWEEN WORKERS AND EMPLOYER - and here, it is acceptable in generally most countries that workers have the right to  protest, picket, strike and take industrial actions ... and this usually ends with an agreement/settlement between workers and their employers... now, these methods are generally the most effective means to get quick results... [Lodging complaints, trade disputes, claims with the relevant authorities generally just take TOO long.... ]

The police to date have been focusing their attention on the workers...in this case the migrant workers >> But really, the question is what started this? And, it more likely than not something that the employer or their agents did - Why are we not hearing calls for employers and management to follow the laws or act justly when it comes to their workers. - Respect our laws, police warn foreign workers(see Star report below)

Now, this issue seem to have started after a migrant worker dies - there are allegations that the worker was not accorded proper treatment, given access to healthcare speedily, etc... This must be investigated.

(1) Some of these factories and worker accommodation are far away from hospitals/clinics and migrant workers generally do not have their own transportation, and public transport is also generally not available in these areas.....
(2) Many migrant workers generally will not be allowed to leave their workplace or 'worker accomodation' without permission...
(3) Many employers continue to hold on to worker passports and work pass/visa - and without this workers cannot go to hospitals/clinics and get medical treatment and care... Likewise, money is a issue, since migrant workers to get healthcare in even a government healthcare facility is expected to pay RM50 for registration - and thereafter First Class Rates... hence, many a time money in hand is a problem...
(4) Worker Accommodation - well. there is still no LAW that insist on minimum worker housing standards at factories, etc  - some of these migrant worker accommodation in Malaysia are now really in a bad state. When will Malaysia make laws to ensure a healthy living environment for workers? Having the law itself is worthless unless there is regular 'spot checks' and enforcement

IN 2010, JCY agreed to:-  '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'. Recently, "..The company will also provide a 24-hour in-house medical clinic at its plant in Tebrau and have appointed panel clinics for workers in Kulaijaya...." (see below Star, 30/8/2014, Nepalis who rioted return to work )

TORTURE allegations is what allegedly resulted in the unrest in Kulaijaya.... Has the police started investigating this?

Another problem is the question of WHO is the employer...who is responsible for the wellbeing and welfare of the workers? Workers may be working in Factory AA, but really they may just be working there, but their real employer since the introduction of the 'contractor for labour system' may be Company BBB. Worker accommodation may be outsourced to Company CCC -  For factory AA, it is a great situation - they so easily can escape employer obligation and duties to their workers... The state of affairs is detrimental to workers generally... I say, that Malaysia must abolish these 3rd parties in an employment relationship, the Employer must always be Factory AA - where the workers work, and factory AA must be responsible for all living and working aspects of especially migrant workers...

See also earlier related posts :-

JCY International Bhd claim not aware of foreign workers being allegedly abused at its factory?

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

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

MTUC calls for tripartite meet concerning Tebrau and Kulai strikes

Updated: Saturday August 30, 2014 MYT 8:15:29 AM

Nepalis who rioted return to work

KUALA LUMPUR: All the Nepali workers who rioted at their electronics plant in Kulaijaya earlier this week over alleged mistreatment by their employers have returned to work.

Nepali ambassador to Malaysia Dr Niranjan Man Singh Basnyat said their demands have been met by the company and they went back to work yesterday morning.

Among the demands was for a 24-hour clinic within the JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd factory in the Kelapa Sawit Industrial Area.

The 800 workers went on strike on Tuesday, following a similar incident involving some 1,500 workers at the company’s branch in the Tebrau IV Industrial Area, near Johor Baru on Aug 21.

The strike was over the company’s alleged negligence in handling the health issue of worker Karka Bahadur Nirbula, leading to his death. Dr Niranjan said the worker had been sick for about five days due to a respiratory problem.

“His friends took him to a hospital because there was no medical facility within the factory compound. He died on the way to the hospital,” said Dr Niranjan, when interviewed yesterday.

“The embassy was on top of the crisis from the beginning,” he said, adding deputy chief of mission Hemlal Sharma Bhattarai was sent to Johor to mediate between the company’s management and the workers. 

In JOHOR BARU, the management of JCY HDD Technology said they had started a probe into all claims against the company by the foreign workers at their two plants.

“We are unaware of any mistreatment of workers as alleged to the media and we have initiated our own investigations on the matter. We will take steps to further improve the communication,” a spokesman said.

The company also extended its condolences to the family and friends of the dead worker and condemned all acts of violence that had purportedly occurred.

On allegations of mistreatment, the company affirmed that it will abide by all regulations and provide workers with a minimum wage of RM900, and accommodation with basic amenities. The company will also provide a 24-hour in-house medical clinic at its plant in Tebrau and have appointed panel clinics for workers in Kulaijaya. - Star, 30/8/2014, Nepalis who rioted return to work 

Updated: Friday August 29, 2014 MYT 8:31:43 AM

Government urged to deport those who violate country’s labour laws

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Baru Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the Government to immediately deport foreign workers who violate the country’s labour laws by resorting to violence.

Its president Datuk Loh Liam Hiang said while Malaysia welcomed foreign workers, they should not break the country’s laws.

“Malaysia should emulate Singapore by banning for life foreigners who violate the country’s labour laws.

“Damaging property or striking will interrupt productivity,” he said in response to the riot by workers of JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd here.

Loh said the authorities should also take stern action against companies which mistreat their workers regardless of whether they were locals or foreigners. 

Social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said foreign workers must sit down with their employers to settle industrial disputes amicably instead of going on strike or resorting to violence. 

“I’m against all forms of exploitation by employers and also violent acts by workers as this will not solve problems,” he said.

Lee advised employees to complain to the Labour Department if they felt that they were being mistreated by their employers.- Star, 29/8/2014, Government urged to deport those who violate country’s labour laws

Published: Friday August 29, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday August 29, 2014 MYT 11:48:16 AM

Respect our laws, police warn foreign workers

File picture shows a police officer addressing a crowd of foreign workers who staged a strike outside the JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd building in Kulaijaya on Tuesday.
File picture shows a police officer addressing a crowd of foreign workers who staged a strike outside the JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd building in Kulaijaya on Tuesday.
KULAIJAYA: Foreign workers at companies here have been warned to respect Malaysian laws or face stern action, said Johor police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Mohktar Mohd Shariff.

He said rioting and public disorder by fo­­reign workers would not be tolerated and the police would not hesitate to make arrests.

“You came to this country to work. You have to respect the laws and the police will not to­lerate any nonsense,” he said after a meeting with the management of JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd here yesterday.

He said the management of the electronics manufacturing company had held discussions with its foreign workers, witnessed by officials from several foreign embassies, to resolve the problems that culminated in a riot at the Kelapa Sawit industrial area here on Tuesday.

“Forty-nine arrests have been made. Two of them are from Bangladesh and the rest are from Nepal. The police will continue to identify and arrest those involved in the incident at the factory,” he added.

JCY executive director Datuk Tan Shih Leng said the company had complied with Malay­sian labour laws and all the requirements that were agreed to with the foreign workers.

The company’s general manager, who wanted to be known only as Liaw, said the plant was closed yesterday following the riot.

In Tuesday’s incident, more than 800 foreign workers gathered outside the building and hurled stones and other objects at the manage­ment office.

They set an office building and a car on fire, while three other buildings were damaged.

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 various objects from their four-storey quarters and overturned a parked van. - Star, 29/8/2014, Respect our laws, police warn foreign workers

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Goodbye MAS Employees Union(MASEU) and other Unions in MAS?

Well, the plans revealed for Malaysian Airlines(MAS) by the Malaysian government wholly owned, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, includes 'the creation of a new company, (NewCo) which will house the ‘new MAS’ and the migration of the right-sized workforce and work practices and contracts into NewCo'... NewCo would require a workforce of approximately 14,000, representing a net reduction of 6,000 or 30% from the approximately 20,000 current staff.

Now, if a new company is created, MAS's existing assets can be 'transfered/sold' to the new company - but this cannot happen to workers. Workers in the OLD-Co(Malaysian Airline System Berhad?) will then be terminated/retrenched and will be entitled to receive termination/retrenchment benefits, etc... 

Then, NewCO can re-employ the workers of OLD-Co. 

a) Will the terms and conditions of employment be the same? [Now, many of the MAS workers are regular employees until retirement, will they be  re-employed by this NewCo as regular employees with employment security until retirement age? Or will they be re-employed as short-term contract employees - a most precarious employment relationship for workers? Or will the NewCo start relying on the 'contractor for labour system' - i.e. entering into arrangements with third parties to supply workers to work in NewCo - these will not be employees of NewCo - an even more precarious employment practice for workers?]

b) Will the workers re-employed by this NewCo be also allowed to enjoy the benefits that with come with tenure(length of service) they had in OLD-Co? Or will they be just considered brand new workers?

c) Will the workers in OLD-Co even be re-employed? Will NewCo just go out and employ new workers - not the old workers? If there is going to be re-employment, will there be any guiding principles....like LIFO[Last In First Out] being the principle when it comes to retrenchment - will NewCo give priority to the length of tenure in OLD-Co when it comes to the re-hiring?

Now, let us talk about the UNIONs in MAS - Most of these Unions are in-house Unions of employees now in OLD-Co - so, effectively when OLD-Co is no more or has no more employees, all these Unions will cease to exist? All existing Collective Agreements will be of no use anymore... The employees of NewCo will now have to re-organize themselves into new unions...and in Malaysia, this can be a long process - the application for registration, the application for recognition, etc ...it could be years before these new trade unions will be able to enter into Collective Bargaining Agreement... [Or maybe the new MAS law may just prevent the formation of trade unions in NewCO]. The biggest of the OLD-Co Unions is the MAS Employees Union(MASEU) and there are another 6-8 other inhouse Unions too... So, if this proposals go through, we will effectively be saying GOODBYE to MASEU and the other existing in-house unions...

Now, with regard the National Union of Flight Attendants(NUFAM), who have managed to already succeed in the secret ballot and get recognition (although this is currently being challenged by OLD-Co in the courts), they would have to start all over again, and claim recognition from NewCo... 

New-Co - is there really a need for the creation of a new Company? Maybe not if the security and welfare of employees is the concern.... The OLD-Co can always re-structure, and that may mean retrenchment which can be done according to the LIFO principles. Steps can also be taken to try to find alternate employment for workers no longer needed in the airline... Justly, the UNIONs should be involved in this process... 

Now, Khazanah was the majority shareholder (69 percent stake in MAS) would have also been in control of MAS, which was suffering losses and failing [even before MH370 and MH17] - so, one wonders whether the government should not handover MAS to some other wholly owned company(not Khazanah) if they truly want to succeed this time around. In fact, Khazanah, being the entity with the controlling interest in MAS should take the blame for MAS's failing to date... shouldn't they? [Or maybe, there has been changes in Khazanah at the top that makes this a 'new' Khazanah?]

In fact, all those who have been in control of MAS (Directors, CEOs, Upper Management, etc) should be let go and new people brought in if we reasonably want our airlines to succeed... 'You do not poor new wine into old skin'. 

Maybe we should be looking at maybe nationalizing the airlines - putting it under the government directly, or alternatively under some other 100% government owned-controlled entity - the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) [MOF (Inc.)]?

Maybe, winding-up OLD-Co may be better - surely better than just transferring assets and liabilities , which include contractual obligations, to NewCo? 

Now workers employment security, and the welfare of themselves and their families, is the concern of the government - this should be the priority for me compared to the future success of the Malaysian airline. But, now it seems that success of the airline and not the welfare of workers seem to be taken as more important. 

As a Malaysian, I am concerned with the future of Malaysian airlines - and, I hope we see a better proposal.

I read that this proposal has already been approved by the cabinet? - well, I believe, that is something that first need to be brought up in Parliament, discussed and approved by Parliament. Even before that, the public need to be allowed to discuss and provide input - after all, it is OUR money...our airlines....and our fellow Malaysian worker and their families that will be affected.

Published: Friday August 29, 2014 MYT 3:31:00 PM
Updated: Saturday August 30, 2014 MYT 9:37:05 AM

Khazanah unveils 12-point plan for MAS

KUALA LUMPUR: Khazanah Nasional Bhd has unveiled a 12-point plan to enable Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to achieve sustained profitability within three years of de-listing, by the end of 2017.

Its managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the plan involved a comprehensive overhaul of the airline.

“At its core, the plan involves the creation of a new company, (NewCo) which will house the ‘new MAS’ and the migration of the right-sized workforce and work practices and contracts into NewCo,” he told reporters at a special briefing at Khazanah headquarters on Friday.

The plan, entitled “Rebuilding A National Icon – The MAS Recovery Plan”, has four categories which are governance and financial framework, operating business model, leadership and human capital, and regulatory and enabling environment. 

Azman said this plan followed a review of all relevant aspects of MAS’ operations and operating environment that commenced in February this year. 

He said current MAS chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya would continue to lead the old company during the transition period over the next 10 months to July 1, 2015.

“Khazanah has commenced the search process for the CEO of NewCo and we envisage that the conclusion of this search will be announced in due course, expected to be before the end of 2014,” he said. 

Azman said it was estimated that NewCo would require a workforce of approximately 14,000, representing a net reduction of 6,000 or 30% from the approximately 20,000 current staff.

He said Khazanah would invest in a Corporate Reskilling Centre to address the reskilling of the appropriate MAS staff who did not migrate to NewCo. 

“MAS and Khazanah are committed to helping each exiting employee minimise the negative impact to their livelihoods and quality of life,” he said. 

On Aug 8, Khazanah announced it would undertake a selective capital reduction and repayment exercise at an offer price of RM0.27 per MAS ordinary share, representing a 29.2% premium to the 3-month volume weighted average market price at the time of announcement. - Star, 29/8/2014, Khazanah unveils 12-point plan for MAS

Tragedy-hit Malaysia Airlines to lose 6,000 jobs in bold revamp

KUALA LUMPUR Fri Aug 29, 2014 6:03am EDT
An airport worker walks between Malaysia Airlines planes at Kuala Lumpur International Airport July 25, 2014. REUTERS-Olivia Harris
A member of ground crew works on a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 airplane on the runway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang July 25, 2014. REUTERS-Olivia Harris

 An airport worker walks between Malaysia Airlines planes at Kuala Lumpur International Airport July 25, 2014.Credit: Reuters/Olivia Harris

(Reuters) - Malaysia Airlines (MASM.KL) (MAS) will slash nearly a third of its 20,000 workforce and cut back its global route network as part of a radical 6 billion ringgit ($1.9 billion) restructuring following the devastating impact of two jetliner disasters. 

The 42-year-old company will be de-listed by the end of the year under the broad revival plan announced by state fund Khazanah Nasional on Friday that aims to bring long-elusive efficiency and global standards to the loss-making carrier.

The 6,000 job cuts were higher than expected by the industry and mark a painful new blow for staff after a traumatic year for the national flag-carrier and the Southeast Asian country. Khazanah, which owns a majority stake in MAS, said it would invest in "re-skilling" those who lose jobs and pledged to set up a panel to improve often rocky relations between unions and management.

"Recent tragic events and ongoing difficulties at MAS have created a perfect storm that is allowing this restructuring to take place," Khazanah Managing Director Azman Mokhtar told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. 

"We believe that the 6 billion is not a bailout, we believe it will be recovered with re-listing," he said.

Khazanah, which currently holds a 69 percent stake in MAS, will take 100 percent ownership when the carrier is de-listed. The state fund said this month that it would pay 1.4 billion ringgit to buy out minority shareholders. 

Under the restructuring plan, which was approved by Malaysia's cabinet this week, MAS' assets and liabilities will be transferred to a new company with Khazanah injecting up to 6 billion ringgit. 

Khazanah aims to return MAS to profit by 2017, and re-list the airline within five years, by which time it would be a more regionally focused airline "with lower cost structure and greater emphasis on revenue yield management," the state fund said in a statement. 

An international search for a new chief executive was underway, Khazanah said, and the current CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya would stay on until July next year.

Khazanah, which has injected more than 5 billion ringgit into MAS over the last 10 years, said its new fund injections would be strictly tied to the new company meeting performance targets. 

"Success is by no means guaranteed," Khazanah said. 

Airline industry players said the revival plan appeared to be far more comprehensive and radical than several others that have been announced since MAS began struggling in the late 1990s after a period of rapid growth. 

"The plan that has just been announced is comprehensive, credible and adequate even if painful for MAS staff and other stakeholders," said Bertrand Grabowski, DVB Bank's managing director in charge of aviation. DVB is a banker to MAS.

"It is comprehensive because it touches all the key weaknesses that the airline has not being addressing for years - an overstretched network and fleet in an ever more competitive environment, short haul and long haul."


The drastic downsizing caps a wrenching year for the airline following the unexplained disappearance of Flight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March and the shooting down of Flight MH17 over Ukraine in July.

Even before those deadly tragedies, MAS had been steadily falling behind high-end rivals such as Singapore Airlines (SIAL.SI) and been battered by the rise of Asian budget carriers like AirAsia (AIRA.KL).

The company hasn't made an annual profit since 2010 and on Thursday revealed deepening losses and warned of more to come as nervous travellers steered clear of it after the disasters.

The restructuring is a bold move by the long-ruling government, which has used state firms such as the national airline as social tools to create jobs and reinforce policies favouring majority ethnic Malays over other races.

The main union at MAS has close ties to the ruling UMNO party - and has successfully resisted previous restructuring attempts. 

"If we seek a different outcome from past experiences, we must have the courage to choose a different method," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement.

"Piecemeal change will not work."

The executive secretary of the main MAS workers union, Jabbarullah Kadir, declined to comment on the restructuring plan, saying the union had not yet agreed a position on it.

Khazanah said it aimed to reduced MAS' net gearing to as low as 100 percent from 290 percent currently through debt-to-equity swaps. It said it had already secured a commitment from Malaysia's civil servants' pension fund to swap 750 million ringgit of Islamic bonds for equity.

The state fund did not give details on plans to reduce the carrier's flight network, but said several of its European destinations would be reviewed. Malaysia Airlines will retain global flight connectivity through the Oneworld alliance and code-sharing, Khazanah said. 

(Additional reporting by Anshuman Daga in SINGAPORE and Trinna Leong in KUALA LUMPUR; Writing by Stuart Grudgings; Editing by Ryan Woo) - Reuters, 29/8/2014, Tragedy-hit Malaysia Airlines to lose 6,000 jobs in bold revamp

MTUC calls for tripartite meet concerning Tebrau and Kulai strikes

Let us also make sure that the migrant workers are also represented in this tripartite meeting ... yes, the affected migrant worker reps from both the Tebrau and Kulai factory ...  (Agreements must just not be made by just reps without consultation with all the affected workers)

It is also best that JCY International is also present at this meeting - not just JCY's subsidiary JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd (JCY)...


29 August 2014 Print page
Press Released

Malaysia Trades Union Congress (MTUC) calls for an immediate tripartite meeting between employers of JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd (JCY), Human Resource Ministry and  MTUC on the recent strike by their foreign workers in protest of the companies, negligence in handling of health issues of their workers.

Our MTUC Johor Division officers on the ground have been following the case closely with some of JCY’s migrant workers. Workers shared that their protest escalated when one of the staff of JCY provoked by throwing stones at their private part when the workers refuse to ‘play the game of throwing stones’ at each other in their workplace at Kulaijaya. These workers, about 20 of them who participated in the strike in Tebrau were forcefully moved to Kulaijaya. At Kulaijaya these workers were forced to play a game of “volley ball with stone” as a punishment for taking part in the strike at Tebrau over the death of their co worker who complained of having difficulty in breathing.

According to the workers they resort to industrial action as they were dissatisfied in the manner the management handled their grievances. Their main concerns were on the issues concerning their health, work condition, poor hostel facilities, calculation of overtime, not adhering to off day’s entitlement, various deductions in their salaries and low compensation for accident and injuries. The workers were also displeased with the attitude of the management in that workers are beaten for any mistakes made. They said that the management have constantly not treating them with dignity and respect. Their concerns at workplace worsened over the years that their only option was industrial action.

MTUC is very concern in the way the management of JCY handle the issues of worker’s grievances at workplace. Management’s intimidation and hostile attitudes towards worker is totally unacceptable. These fundamental issues have been put off so long that workers have lost total confidence with the management of JCY. Our national policy and practices on protection of Migrant workers too have failed to address significantly the rights of migrant workers.

Human Recourse Ministry have repeatedly denied our call for Migrant workers to be given SOSCO benefit just as Malaysia workers instead migrant workers are covered by Workmen Compensation Scheme with computation of compensation differs extensively. There is justification no why dual set of computation of compensation is need for Malaysian and Migrant workers.

At the same time MTUC is concern on the over dependency of Migrant workers in JCY. It has been noted that about 95% of foreign workers employed by JCY are production workers. JCY’s depends on more than 10,000 migrant workers mainly from Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Vietnam. These only raises concerns that wage distribution and condition of employment offered have been inadequately address that prompt many Malaysian in Johor to work in Singapore instead.

MTUC also urge that police investigation should look into the provocation and alleged assault made by the management over the incident in Kulaijaya. Police investigation must be fair and unbiased towards all parties involved.

Meanwhile MTUC Johor Division will offer our services to all migrant workers especially workers who are affected in the incident in Kulaijaya and Tebrau. Migrant workers can call our hotline number at 016-2118024 should they need any assistance or inquiries.

Thank You.

N. Gopal Kishnam,
Secretary General

See also related posts:- 

JCY International Bhd claim not aware of foreign workers being allegedly abused at its factory?

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

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

JCY International Bhd claim not aware of foreign workers being allegedly abused at its factory?

'Fiery riot' firm unaware workers being abused

The management of JCY International Bhd has claimed that it is not aware of foreign workers being allegedly abused at its factory in Johor.

In a media statement, the firm said an investigation has been launched into the allegations, which have been widely reported in the media.

"The management is of the view that the incident (riot) was a result of miscommunication between all parties concerned and will take steps to further improve communication," it added.

Among others, it was claimed that a senior staff at the Kulai factory had pelted the private parts of the foreign workers with stones.

On Tuesday, enraged workers torched the factory building and a car belonging to a management staff.

The company also clarified that they moved 23 workers from Tebrau to Kulai after the earlier riots to “calm” the situation at Tebrau.

“Twenty three workers were temporarily separated from Tebrau factory and moved to Kulaijaya factory for the purpose of calming the situation of the workers unrest incidence that took place at a worker hostel located in Tebrau IV, Johor Bahru on 22 and 23 August 2014.”

It is believed that the riot in Tebrau last week ensued after a worker, Karka Bahadur Nirbula died of sickness after not being given medical treatment by the company.

Death acknowleged

While it acknowleged the death, the company did not address the allegations surrounding Karka's death.

It only said that there is a 24-hour clinic at the Tebrau factory, and Kulaijaya workers can go to the panel clinics without restriction.

It also said that it will now raise its compensation for workers who die on the job, by paying the remainder salary from their tenure or RM10,000, whichever higher.

JCY added that all their salary payments as well as accommodations for the workers were in compliance with the Malaysian labour law.

“JCY HDD had fully complied with Malaysian’s minimum wage requirement of RM900 per month since the first day it came into effect on 1 January 2013. As legally and normally practised by other companies in the electronic industry, JCY HDD also practices rest day that do not necessarily falls on a Sunday.”

JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd is a unit under public-listed company JCY International Bhd.

The company also cleared that any deductions made to the salary of workers were done with the approval of authorities.

“All salary deductions made by JCY HDD are with approval from relevant government authorities.”

It also acknowledged that worker Karka Bahadur Nibula had died from illness prior to the incident, but did not address claims that this was due to of access to medical aid.

It, however, said that there is a 24-hour clinic in its Tebrau factory while those at the Kulai operation can seek medical attention at panel clinics without restriction.

Not the first time JCY under fire

The company also reiterated that the damage was minimal as the fire only engulfed an area, which held “non-crucial equipment” and “consumable items”.

“There was no major damage to the main building or any of the machines within the factory.”

Meanwhile, Tenaganita programme director Glorene Fernandez revealed that this is not JCY’s first tussle with foreign workers.

“We have handled cases from JCY International before regarding their mistreatment of foreign workers.

“Previously, there was another case involving a Nepali foreign worker as well, which was brought to the industrial court but was settled off court by JCY,” Fernandez told Malaysiakini.

Fernandez added that Tenaganita has previously conducted talks with JCY workers to educate them regarding their labour laws and rights.

Separately, PSM in a statement condemned the treatment of foreign workers by JCY International.

“The management’s idea of punishing 20 workers - forcing them to play volleyball with a rock, and throwing a stone at their private parts – that sparked off angry protests by the workers is outrageous and reflects the impunity enjoyed by employers,” said PSM central committee member Rani Rasiah.

“The workers had remained compliant despite enduring all kinds of abuses and deprivation – low income, cramped living quarters with up to 45 workers sharing a shop house, beatings if they made mistakes, and being forced to walk an hour to work,” Rani added.

PSM also questioned the authorities actions regarding the case as no management staff was remanded, despite allegations of abuse.

“Who are the victims?” she quizzed.

MTUC Johor secretary K Mohanadas told Malaysiakini that workers had complained of being beaten at work, no over time, no medical care and deplorable living conditions (above).

Additional reporting by KAMLES KUMAR, a trainee journalist with Malaysiakini. - Malaysiakini, 28/8/2014, 'Fiery riot' firm unaware workers being abused

See also:- 

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


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



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: http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/asia-report/malaysia/story/riot-breaks-out-johor-factory-44-men-arrested-20140828#sthash.RFkBscVW.dpuf