Indian workers claim breach of job contract


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 15 Mar 2003

BY LEE YUK PENG

MALACCA: Thirty-nine Indian nationals have sought help from the Legal Aid Bureau here, claiming that their employer, a rubber factory in Jasin, had breached the contract of employment by not paying them their full salary.  

Malacca Legal Aid Committee chairman J. Amardas said the employer had downgraded the workers from production operators at RM600 per month to general workers at daily wage of RM17.15 per day. 

He said the workers were paid RM445.90 per month for 26 working days. 

Amardas said that despite a contractual commitment not to make deductions for levy, the employer had deducted RM136 for levy from their salary of RM445.90, leaving them with RM309.90. 

The workers, who started working here since April last year, were compelled to sign a document varying the terms and conditions of the original contract of employment. 

The workers were recruited through an Indian agent appointed by the company after it obtained approval from the Home Ministry and the Indian High Commission in Malaysia.  

Amardas said when the workers complained about the variation of terms, the employer, who had kept their passports upon their arrival in Malaysia, forcibly took a number of them to KL International Airport and sent them back to India. 

“The Malacca Bar Committee calls upon the Human Resources Minister to intervene immediately,” he said. 

The Legal Aid Bureau had helped the workers lodge police reports and also lodge complaints with the labour office in January. 

A meeting involving an Industrial Relations Department officer, the Labour Department director, legal aid committee representatives and the workers was held in the presence of an officer from the Indian High Commission acting as an observer. 

Amardas said the workers would proceed to the Industrial Relations Department for a conciliation meeting on Thursday. 

He said the workers were also considering other avenues to seek legal redress. 

State Labour Department director Khamis Majid said three meetings were held with the workers' representatives and the company to seek an amicable solution after the report was lodged. 

The general manager of the company could not be reached for comment.  

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