KULAIJAYA: About 800 workers, mostly from Nepal, staged a strike outside the building of an electronics company in the Kelapa Sawit Industrial Area here following alleged mistreatment by their employers.
They started gathering outside the JCY HDD Technology Sdn Bhd building from 8am 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.
Around midday, officials and a fleet of Federal Reserve Unit officers were deployed at the scene to control the rowdy crowd.
At 2.15pm, a police official addressed the workers, with the help of a Nepali employee, and told them embassy officials from Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh had been called to speak to them.
The strike followed a similar incident last Thursday at the company’s branch at the Tebrau IV Industrial Area, near Johor Baru, where some 1,500 workers 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. A parked van was turned on its side.
A representative of the protesting workers here, Kishor Rai, 23, said the trouble started when a group of 20 Nepali workers from the Tebrau branch was brought to Kulaijaya, purportedly to be “reformed”.
He alleged the management made these workers play a game where a ball was tossed and those who failed to catch it would be kicked, punched and beaten with sticks.
“We (the workers at the Kulaijaya plant) had also been treated badly and often kicked or punched by our employers for every mistake,” claimed Kishor, adding that they were also not properly paid for working on Sunday or for doing overtime.
Sometimes, he said, the employers did not send the workers’ bus to pick them from their hostel.
“Over the past two days, we had to walk for more than an hour to the factory as we were left without any transport,” claimed Kishor.
Kulaijaya deputy OCPD Deputy Supt Mohad Idris Samsuri said investigations would be carried out under Section 148 of the Penal Code for rioting but the situation was under control.
“No injuries were reported during the incident and we are in the midst of conducting discussions to find an amicable solution,” he said, adding that no arrests were made.