employed at a factory in Senai, Malaysia,
complain of abuse by
Over 200 Indian workers claim they are being abused
KUALA LUMPUR, October 8 2007
More than 200 Indian nationals working in a Malaysian
factory have alleged that they were being abused by their employment
agent and are desperate to return home after three of
their colleagues were brutally beaten up.
The 264 Indian workers, employed at a factory in Senai in Johor
state, claimed their agent started abusing them when they arrived
in Malaysia two years ago.
The workers claimed that three of their colleagues were abducted
and beaten up for putting up a notice stating that workers no
longer wanted 2.50 (25 Rupees), the cost of hostel canteen food,
to be deducted from their daily wages.
The Indian workers, part of the 1,500-strong foreign workforce
at the plastic-moulding factory, staged a picket to demand the
release of the three, local media reports said.
The trio, with bruises all over their bodies, have since returned
to the hostel, the report said one of the workers, Thangaraju,
39, said he could have ended up dead if not for the strike staged
by his co-workers.
Thangaraju claimed that he and the other two workers were beaten
for hours and the men tried to force him to drink detergent when
he asked for water, the report said.
He said the beatings started two months after they arrived at
the hostel in November 2005. “We found worms in the rice
served at the canteen. When we complained, 20 of my colleagues
were abducted and given a severe beating. Only 10 returned and
to date, we don't know what happened to the rest.” Another
worker identified as Vadivelu said the workers decided to quit
and return home on the advice of their parents.
A factory official said the management wanted to send the injured
trio to the clinic but were stopped by their colleagues.
“There is a small group of workers instigating the others.
They are forcing the workers to strike and this has disrupted
operations,” he said.
The official said the factory took over the management of the
hostel three days ago after the workers decided they did not want
to deal with their agent any more.