HA NOI – Forty of a total 52 Vietnamese workers owned back-pay by Malaysian company Asmana, yesterday returned home, according to a Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Malaysia.
It is reported that the 12 remainders expect to stay and continue working in the country.
The workers went to Malaysia under contracts with Asmana in June 2010 to clean hospitals, buildings and public areas in Penang State, around 300km from Malaysia's capital of Kuala Lumpur. Their salaries ranged from US$400-500 per month.
Since August 2011, Asmana has failed to pay taxes and obtain visa extensions for the workers due to financial difficulties, effectively stranding them in Malaysia.
All workers received minimum salaries from February until their return to Viet Nam, overtime pay for January and February and other allowances. Asmana also bought airline tickets for the workers.
"All workers are high-spirited. Many of them expect to come back to Malaysia to work," said the correspondent.
Deputy Director of the Viet Nam Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Ministry's Overseas Workers Management Department Le Van Thanh said Malaysia had a high demand for Vietnamese workers in particular and foreign workers in general.
"We should improve the procedure for people working in Malaysia. First of all, we need to better value our partners and introduce quality workers to the country," Thanh said.
He added that Malaysia remained a potential market, especially after its 6P legalization programme for foreign workers and illegal immigrants.
Luu Quang Binh, director of Viet Ha-Ha Tinh Trading which sent the workers to Malaysia, said the company had decided to support each worker with VND1 million (US$48) upon their return to the country and dealt with their contracts according to the Viet Nam Labour Law.
As for the number of workers who wants to stay and continue working in the country, the company will try its best to help them get jobs as soon as possible, Binh said.
On March 17, 52 workers, alongside 30 others from Nepal, were arrested by the Penang Immigration Department and moved to Kuala Lumpur and Malacca witnesses protection centres. On March 31, the workers were sent back to the Penang Immigration Department to receive settlements following Malaysian Immigration Law. -- VNS