Employees of solar cell manufacturing factory retrenched with just 24 hours notice

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Some 100 workers of a solar cell manufacturing factory demonstrated in front of the plant today, demanding for fair compensation after they were retrenched.

Spokesman Mohd Azwan Ali, 38, said their rights have been abused as they were given notice of less than 24 hours.

He said they were informed by SMS on Monday evening not to show up for the night shift that day.

"The company is supposed to issue at least a one-month notice to us so we can prepare ourselves by finding other jobs.

"Now this has put us in a bind as most of us are the primary bread winners for our families," he told reporters outside TS Solartech Sdn Bhd in the Penang Science Park here.

Mohd Azwan, who worked for three months with the factory, claimed the compensation offered was between RM300 to RM500 for contract employees.

He described the amount as "unfair" and urged the company to provide suitable compensation for those affected.

Nor Amirah Ahmad, 24, meanwhile expressed her anger over the way the issue was handled and her sudden loss of income.

"I have to support my family and pay off my student loans," she said adding she was offered RM7,000 in compensation for her seven months of work.

Attempts by reporters at the site to obtain a response from the company was not successful.

When contacted, Deputy Chief Minister II P. Ramasamy, who holds the human resources portfolio, said he would check and urged those affected to approach him so solutions could be sought.

Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MUTC) industrial relations officer V. Viji, meanwhile, said retrenching employees by giving 24 hours notice was unlawful and considered as unfair termination.