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Provocation by employer cause of riot!
Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) Statement - August 28, 2014
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.
This extreme provocation seems to have been the last straw for the workers who had not yet gotten over the death of a fellow worker who the workers say would have survived had he received medical attention.
Throughout their employment at JCY HDD Technology, 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 shophouse, beatings if they made mistakes, and being forced to walk an hour to work.
Not unexpectedly, 44 workers have been detained for rioting. Not a single management official has been arrested though clearly they provoked the protest by the workers. Who are the victims?
This latest incident of tensions between employers and migrant workers erupting is not the first and neither will it be the last. This is because employers do not treat workers as producers and accord them the dignity they deserve. Migrant workers due to their vulnerability have it worse – they are often bullied, humiliated and abused like modern-day slaves. If the government must continue its policy of obtaining cheap migrant labour to attract investors, it must ensure their human and worker rights are safeguarded. It must stop mollycoddling and protecting errant employers.
The PSM demands:
1. The immediate release of all the detained workers
2. Immediate investigations into the controversial death of a Nepali worker at the Tebrau plant of the JCY HDD Technology
3. Action against the management's criminal physical abuse of workers at the Kulaijaya plant
4. All grievances of the workers be acted on by the labour office
Migrant Desk of PSM