Tesco foreign workers exploited in Malaysia

 Tesco foreign workers exploited in Malaysia

Posted by kasee

Supermarket giant Tesco today pledged to investigate claims that some of its overseas workers earn just 8p an hour.    

Supermarket giant Tesco today pledged to investigate claims that some of its overseas workers earn just 8p an hour.

Job agencies are reportedly charging migrants up to £1,500 to place them in Tesco jobs in Malaysia on the promise that they will earn between £180 and £215 a month.

The workers then find themselves subcontracted to work up to 360 hours a month for between £20 and £50, after various deductions have been made, according to reports.

Tesco today promised to investigate the claims, saying in a statement: “Doing business in some overseas markets can be challenging as local laws and customs sometimes appear to conflict with the high expectations we have here in the UK and elsewhere in the international community.

“However, wherever we operate we insist on the highest standards of welfare for workers, both our own and – as in this case – those employed by contractors working for us.

“We take allegations such as these very seriously and have launched an immediate investigation with our contractors.

“Whilst we do not believe that they are deliberately seeking to disadvantage their workers, if improvements need to be made we will not hesitate to make them.”

One Bangladeshi migrant who was taken on as a cleaner at a supermarket in Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur had paid a labour agent in Bangladesh more than £1,500 to find him a job in Malaysia.

The 26-year-old, who asked not to be named, said he has ended up having to share a one-bedroom flat with 12 fellow Bangladeshis, taking it in turn to use the beds.

Even with these cost-cutting measures, they cannot hope to recoup the £1,500 they spent on getting their jobs.

He said: “I decided to come to Malaysia so I could earn more money and feed my family properly.

“I had savings of about £250, I raised another £375 by selling some land, and the rest I borrowed from friends and neighbours or from money-lenders.”

He told the Daily Telegraph: “The agent promised that we would be paid 25,000 to 30,000 Bangladesh taka [£180 to £215] per month.”

However, migrant workers such as Tesco floor cleaners rarely earn much more than 750 Malaysian ringgit (£117) for a month – £20 to £50 per month following deductions, many of which the workers cannot understand. – DAILY MAIL

Comments in Malaysia Today


written by batsman, March 24, 2008 | 09:26:36

Blood-sucking big business also driving small sundry shops out of business

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written by Taufique, March 24, 2008 | 10:53:35
This problem is rampant and those who are at fault are at both ends, the migrant worker country end and the country where the worker is going to. Corrupt agents, in cohorts with ministerial ppl wanting to make a quick buck, make the whole thing 10 times worse.

eg, 100 workers needed, but 500 positions submitted, and these 500 positions need to be approved on both ends, and obviously, those with that power gets it “done”, of course for a fee, and with several levels to be paid off, govt. officers, manpower resource agents, and their sub agents who recruit poor people off the villages. In the end, the whole cost trickles down to the poor worker, who are simple naive ppl. They are promised all sorts of monies, which eventually does not hold true. Based on the example, only those 100 actual needed workers gets their job, but the rest of those who came by “legal” means for fraudulent companies, well.. get stranded like what happened in KLIA some months ago…

Multiply this problem by a couple of hundred times and you’ll get the picture of whats really happening (at least in Malaysia, trust me, i know a couple of manpower related folks). For the purpose of this article, I wouldnt be blaming Tesco all the way, but they should be more proactive in their workers’ welfare, but the whole deal boils down to corruption and cash to be made.

These are near actual figures. To bring down a Bangladeshi worker, Malaysian govt. has officially worked out a cost and it comes up to about 80,000 – 90,000 taka, which is roughly about 4 to 4.5K RM. But workers are paying on average from 200,000 to 250,000 taka in total, which is about 10 – 12.5K RM. Of course, all this extra monies are shared by the various levels of unscrupulous ppl, at both ends. These naive, poor sods, given ample promises, come with big hope but find out that they’re at a massive loss.

with full of pity,
Taufique.

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written by Sagaladoola, March 24, 2008 | 11:09:25
What can we expect when most Malaysians are even underpaid? Minimum wage RM900 also this government cannot give….

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written by drpolitic, March 24, 2008 | 11:36:28
This is normal in Malaysia mah….Now they said they will investigate…ha ha..thats all…after 2 weeks everyone forget about this thing and they will continue to do the same thing…

The person that suppose to see all this problem will make his pocket full now…This is the reality of Malaysia.

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written by SCANNERLAMA, March 24, 2008 | 12:17:54
However, migrant workers such as Tesco floor cleaners rarely earn much more than 750 Malaysian ringgit (£117) for a month – £20 to £50 per month following deductions, many of which the workers cannot understand.

================

but then.. how much do you think local people make for such job? Rm3000/month?

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written by joeawk, March 24, 2008 | 12:33:25
Want to make money as immigrant workers, Malaysia is a tough place. RM750.00 is not overly bad but there is simply too much exploitation by agents and the immigration.

RM750.00 less permit and recruitment charges leaves very little. Employers should pay for recruitment and permit charges and what employees are paid as salary should be net take home after compulsory deductions,if there is any.

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written by teo siew chin, March 24, 2008 | 12:49:02
Dear Taufique

Thanks for your informative comments.
How can giant corporations deal with such problems?
Does giant corporations contribute to such problems?

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written by wildbil, March 24, 2008 | 13:28:10
This type of scam is not new anymore. It is very common for those foreign worker cheated by the agent and the representative from the big companies. This is a real life story from a Indonesian lady…..

She was recruited by an agent in Indonesia to work in a Rubber related factory (RLF) near Klang. This RLF representative also presented thier company portfolio and monthly salary (RM600 plus overtime payment)to those interested to work in this RLF. Those interested have to pay Rupia one millions as an agency fees. When they came to work in RLF, they only got RM180 per month. When ask the RLF payrol dept., they were told the RLF have to reduct their agency and the accommodation fees.

The real problem is… eirther the company (or the company staff) was working with the employee agency to cheat the foreign workers. This is not new anymore more……

Imaging, how much money had all these so call agency and the company respresentation scam-off from the foreign workers? AND the worst is …. these companies knowing the problem but do nothing.

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written by tano, March 24, 2008 | 13:28:18
did ask some bangladeshi workers years ago how much do they get…they said perday they are paid rm15 but after potong makan n all they only get rm5-8 only. itupun they are worried if they tt the money to their hometown, cos the bank there will cilok the money and if they go back to their country, they will be robbed (org kaya what?)

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written by Taufique, March 24, 2008 | 13:37:10
I can’t say much for these giant corporations, heck even our local companies ill treat their workers (Malaysian workers included). But at least, most of us have homes to go back to with a decent amount of amenities.

Some corporations, dont even provide proper lodging for these folks. How’d you like to be stuffed in a shoplot with 80 other guys, sleep on the bare floor, sharing ONE toilet. This was one such situation that I know of somewhere near Pasar Borong Selayang (my dad, being a doctor, was asked to help one of the workers in that location who was very ill, and had no money, so my dad went to assist out of kindness).

Of course I can’t really comment on the low wages, heck even the minimum wage is very low, and obviously theres tons of companies out there who’d save money by hiring these workers. Cheaper maa! Well, not all blame goes to them. Plenty malaysians dont wanna do menial jobs, so theres a demand for this type of work, n it will no doubt be filled up by foreigners.

Well I suppose one way the corporations can solve these problems is to ensure a decent remuneration (net take back pay), decent lodging. If large companies can find in their budget to give a decent pay, Im sure those needy malaysians will also fill the jobs, thus alleviating the need to bring in more workers. That, im sure will not happen, unfortunately.

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written by Anak Desa, March 24, 2008 | 14:15:52
Most of the Bangladesh and Indian workers can earn the same salaries in their respective countries as both countries are growing after the new govt. These people never learn. The cows grazing this side of the river,always see greener at the other side of the river… Some of these workers who come over,are graduates who like to see the world and dont want to work. They started to give problems to employers and asked them to send back at the employers’ cost.

One Response

  1. […] the first time. We’ve had problems before with food quality there and I’ve written to Tesco Sdn Bhd Malaysia to ask them if they think it is acceptable to sell spoiled food to […]

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