The human resources ministry says this is a landmark case that will serve as a reference for labour cases in the future.
PETALING JAYA: A group of 733 Bangladeshi migrant workers duped into coming to Malaysia for jobs that did not exist have been awarded more than RM1 million in unpaid wages in a settlement arranged by the Johor labour department on Monday.
The human resources ministry said today the workers and their employers reached a mutual agreement for the total payment of RM1,035,557.50 in wages.
The workers will now be placed with new employers through the labour department.
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In a statement today, the ministry said: “This is a landmark case that will serve as a reference for labour cases in the future.”
The payout amounts to an average of RM1,412 per worker. The workers, who were brought to Pengerang, Johor, are believed to have been out of work for three to six months.
Last month, human resources minister Steven Sim said that 751 duped workers in Pengerang had filed a claim for RM2.21 million in unpaid wages.
In December, 171 workers were arrested by police after they marched to file a police report about being duped.
The ministry said today the workers were legally brought to Malaysia but were not provided with employment and were neglected after they arrived.
“Employers found guilty of this will be blacklisted by the authorities and their quotas for foreign workers will be cancelled,” the ministry said.
It added that the ministry would not compromise with any party that violates labour laws and it was committed to ensuring the welfare of workers in Malaysia.
Employers were reminded that they were responsible for paying workers’ wages if they were brought into Malaysia.
“Employers who don’t pay their workers by claiming there is no work to be done… for us, this is a big wrongdoing,” Sim said at a press conference in January.
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