Axed workers picket outside healthcare firm

The group of workers picketing outside the Johnson & Johnson Malaysia premises yesterday.

PETALING JAYA: A group of 17 employees of the Johnson & Johnson Malaysia healthcare company protested in front of the company premises yesterday after receiving termination letters with allegedly short notice.

They picketed outside the company premises carrying placards urging the company to protect their rights and to prioritise locals before foreign workers.

The secretary-general of the National Union of Petroleum and Chemical Industry Workers, Abdul Halim Mansor, alleged that the company had not followed procedure in terminating the 17 workers with only 24 hours’ notice.

He said the reason given by the company was redundancy in the job scope resulting in a need to reduce manpower.

However, he claimed the company is prioritising foreign workers as many of them are still working there.

Halim said he had written a complaint letter to Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran about discrimination against local workers, adding that the Employment Act prohibits the termination of a local employee for the purpose of employing a foreign worker.

One of the workers, Siti Habsah, said they were called for a “training course” but given termination letters instead.

Johnson & Johnson Malaysia, in its reply to FMT, did not discuss the claims of the union and workers.

The company said it “continuously evaluates its manufacturing and business operations to ensure the right mix of talent, capabilities and resources to deliver premium healthcare solutions”.

It also said the company is “committed to treating our employees with dignity and respect”.