Some 5,000 foreign workers in Malaysia protest against employer

21:38, August 16, 2010      

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Some 5,000 foreign workers from a computer hardware plant in Tebrau, a sub-division of the Johor Bahru district, held a protest against their employer Monday.

The protesters not only went on strike at their hostel, but also demolished a guard post and threw items including glass bottles, water bottles, iron cabinet, shoes and chairs onto the roads.

They even used fire extinguishers to spray the building, shocking people in the vicinity as they thought either fire was set on the building or tear gas was fired to disperse the crowd.

Meanwhile, the workers, mainly from Nepal, Myanmar, Vietnam, India and Bangladesh, also set up blockade at the main entrance of the hostel to prevent outsiders from entering the building.

At noon, several high-level officers from the factory were seen discussing the matter with several police officers while tens of the foreign workers approached the main building of the factory, believed to be talking to representatives of the employer.

The Federal Reserve Unit was also summoned to the scene to help control the situation.

The protest started off on Sunday when the workers put the blame of the death of a Nepali worker due to delayed medical treatment on their employer.

On Monday's protest, the workers demanded that the deceased worker's family be given a compensation of 100,000 ringgit (about 31,540 U.S. dollars).

While complaining that their living environment was over-packed, the protesters also claimed that there was no proper supply of water, electricity and gas at their hostel.

Johor Bahru (South) district police chief Zainuddin Yaakob said the protest that had actually started on Sunday ended at about 5. 50 p.m. Monday.



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