Some 127 Bangladeshi expatriate workers of a Malaysian company will receive RM 20,000 each as compensation, after a protracted seven-year legal battle against their employer.
The disbursement of the compensation money has been in progress after the Malaysian High Court gave its final verdict on April 18 last.
Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility-Asia (CARAM) focal point Shikkha Shastha Unnayan Karzakram (SHISUK) and Tenaganita in Bangladesh and Malaysia respectively has assisted these aggrieved migrant workers, who lodged the case in 1999 under the labor court claiming violation of conditions of their job contracts.
SHISUK-CARAM Bangladesh along with Ovibashi Sramik Kallyan Forum, Sunday urged the government to provide legal support for ensuring the rights of Bangladeshi migrant workers abroad through a press conference held at the Dhaka Reporters Unity.
The workers alleged that their employer deprived them of overtime payments, benefits of salary enhancement and other benefits accrued to the job contract.
Besides, the fate of receiving compensation by another 116 Bangladeshi migrant workers of Linsun (Malaysia) sdn. Bhd' company has become uncertain despite having the court rulings in their favour.
They have filed a case in 2003 against their employer for non-disbursement of their salary. The session of court gave its verdict in February 2004, and ordered to pay the workers near about Tk 1.3 million.
However, despite the support of Tenaganita, the employees did not deal with the case properly and yet to receive their compensation in absence of the government's patronisation and further legal action.
"The government initiatives can be treated as a milestone to ensure the rights of Bangladesh migrant workers further at home and abroad", said SHISUK executive director Sakiul Millat Morshed.
SHISUK project manager Shakirul Islam read out a written statement at the conference.
Migrant workers shared their success stories with the newsmen. They also regretted that companies concerned issued threats so that they withdraw their case.
The migrant workers on behalf of Chung Wah and Linsun were present on the occasion.