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Sunday December 30, 2012

36 foreign workers conned

PORT KLANG: Thirty-six foreign workers are claiming that their employer deducted between RM4,200 and RM6,500 for work permit fees.

The workers from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, however, allege that not only have they failed to obtain the permits, their salaries have also not been paid for two months by their employer, a maritime logistics company.

They stopped going to work about two weeks ago and have lodged two police reports and gone to the Labour Department with their grouses.

Tabassam Shenzad, 50, from Lahore, Pakistan, said their passports were also being kept by their employer.

“Whenever we ask for our permits, the boss always gives excuses.

“I want my work permit so that I can continue working legally here,” said Shenzad.

Darshan Singh, 30, from Punjab, India, said he wanted to seek employment elsewhere.

“My family wants me to go home and get married but I can't leave as my passport is with the company's owner,” he said.

Kita central executive committee member K.S. Kottapan, who is helping them, claimed that the Immigration Department did not have any record of the workers' applications.

“I was told on Friday that their work permits and visa applications were never submitted,” said Kottapan.

The company's assistant operations manager said the agent helping to obtain the work permits had absconded with the money.

“We went to his office to check on the status but he had vacated the place,” he said, adding that the company did not owe the workers' salary arrears.

He claimed a second agent told them that the workers were allocated to other employers, adding that they needed time to sort the matter out.

He said the company had suffered losses as the workers had not given any notice before stopping work.

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