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Myanmar: Employment agencies cheat workers by withholding 'taxes'; one agency only gave half of workers' wages

Author: Zaw Zaw Htwe, Myanmar Times, Published on: 30 March 2019

"Employment agencies accused of cheating Myanmar workers", 20 March 2019

Many Myanmar workers with work permits have been exploited by employment agencies as they prepared to leave Malaysia, according to a migrant-rights activist.

..."An agency tried to cheat workers by withholding 'taxes' from their wages," U Aung Aung, chairman of the Yadana Settka charity foundation....

He said an agency had sent 40 Myanmar workers to the airport after giving them only half their wages, withholding the other half as taxes to be paid to the government for the workers.

...According to the workers, some 200 Myanmar workers who hold work permits were subjected to illegal deductions by the agencies, he said.

...He added that the Myanmar Embassy in Malaysia is failing to adequately protect Myanmar workers from exploitation by the agencies.

...According to news reports, some work permit holders in Malaysia are being paid lower wages by the recruitment agencies and middlemen, although their employers pay workers the correct wages.

A joint committee of the Malaysian Home Affairs Ministry and Human Resources Ministry decided last year to close unofficial recruitment agencies and middlemen that earn high profits by hiring foreign workers.

The move was intended to prevent the unfair treatment of workers, human trafficking and other issues related to foreign workers, migrant worker activists said.

More than 100 agencies in Malaysia run recruitment centres for hiring foreign workers. Some 26,000 foreign workers are believed to have been brought to Malaysia by the agencies and middlemen....


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