KATHMANDU, Sept 23: About 600 Nepali workers have staged a protest against a Malaysian employer firm demanding quality food and better accommodation. The action has brought the company´s operations to a standstill for the last three days.
The agitating workers at Maxter Glove Manufacturing Company based in Perak of Kelang Neru near Kuala Lumpur, were recruited through a Nepali manpower agency named Lucky Human Resource Solution.
“We got information that some 100 workers that recently joined the company are leading the protest, demanding better food being provided by the company´s canteen. The strike has nothing to do with salary and benefits offered by the company,” Rishi Sharma, proprietor of Lucky Human Resource Solution in Lalitpur told Republica on Saturday.
Sharma said agitating workers are getting up to around Ringgit 1,000 per month including 546 as basic salaries as per the job contract.
Sharma also said there has been dispute between the workers supporting the agitation and those opposing it.
“We are in regular contact with the management of the employer company. We will exert pressure on the company if the workers´ demands are genuine,” Sharma added.
Sharma said around 600 Nepalis and 500 Bangladeshis are working in the company that has been producing surgical gloves for overseas export.
Nepali workers have also barred Bangladeshis from going to work.
Amal Kiran Dhakal, Nepali labor attaché to Malaysia told Republica over the phone that the workers resort to the protests alleging that the employer company provided substandard food, deducting the amount from their salary.
“According to a protesting worker the employer company provided “low quality food” and had deducting certain amount from their salary for that. They have been protesting against the poor living condition inside the hostel. “We are heading toward the company tomorrow (Sunday) to take stock of the situation in a bid to resolve the problem,” Dhakal said.
Dhakal said he urged the workers not to be aggressive and keep in mind the laws of Malaysia that restrict labor protest without prior information to the employers.
Dhakal also said the Malaysian laws enshrine authority to local employers to take action against the agitating works who become absent for more than two consecutive days without prior notification to the employers.
Protests of Nepali workers in Malaysia, the most popular destination among Nepali jobseekers, have been reported frequently.
Two years ago, Nepali workers had protested against the JCY SDB BHD- a multinational company, blaming the firm of negligence in providing timely treatment for a worker who later died in a local hospital. The three day long protest had led to the crackdown on the agitating workers by Malaysian security personnel.