IPOH: Authorities who raided hostels for workers of a glove manufacturer here found these places to be overcrowded and filthy.
Labour Department director Mohd Asri Abdul Wahab said the company had failed to adhere to the Workers' Minimum Standard of Housing and Amenities Act 1990.
"Each hostel is supposed to have from 10 to 12 workers, however, we found that some units housed 15 to 20 workers each.
"During our inspection in all 13 hostels, which are double-storey houses, we discovered that mattress and beds were in the dining and living areas," he told reporters after visiting the hostels located in Tasek here Thursday (Nov 26).
The operation was conducted following a surge in Covid-19 cases linked to the company's factory in Selangor.
Mohd Asri said the operation was assisted by the Perak Labour Department and state Health Department.
"We are also conducting similar operations in Johor, Kelantan, Kedah, and Negri Sembilan, involving subsidiary factories of the same company.
"During the raid, we found that the company had failed to maintain cleanliness in the houses.
"There were cooking gas cylinders and clothes scattered everywhere," he said.
He added that under the law, a double-storey house with three to four rooms can only accommodate 10 to 12 people and workers are only allowed to sleep in rooms if the hostel is a terrace house.
"It will take us about two weeks to complete the investigation as we need to check the hostel's size and get the details of each worker who is staying in the hostels.
"At the moment, we have recorded statements from the employer and several workers.
"If the company is found guilty, the employer could be fined a maximum of RM50,000 per worker," he said, adding that the government had given the company a grace period for compliance until Sept 1.
"We are already in November, therefore by right, all employers should be aware of the Act and apply for an accommodation acknowledgement certificate that can be done via online in our website," he said, adding that the company did not have the certificate.
Separately, Perak Health Department inspector and law unit chief Ahmad Fakurazi Abu Bakar said the hostel would also undergo a sanitisation process.
On Nov 24, the factory workers' dormitory and surrounding areas in Kapar, Klang were placed under an enhanced movement control order (MCO).
Hostel, Workers quarters, Gloves, Covid-19, Labour Department
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