Migrant labour rights in Malaysia’s electronics industry

This report is aimed at exploring the working and living conditions of migrant labour in the electronics industry in Malaysia, with the aim of improving their working and living conditions by engaging companies in a discussion about their supply chain responsibilities. It is also aimed towards a formulation of recommendations that the industry can and should implement.

This report presents research findings based on two field researches and interviews with more than 100 workers in the electronics manufacturing industry in Penang and Selangor, conducted with the aim of identifying common problems experienced by migrant workers, who form a central part of global production and in particular in export-processing zones, which are characterised by very precarious employment conditions for migrant workers. After exploratory interviews with 78 workers from Nepal and Bangladesh and a review of existing literature, interviews were conducted with migrant workers employed by three factories, namely, Omron Malaysia, SMK Electronics and Takahata Precision Moulding. Together, they supply parts to, amongst others, electronics companies Amtek, Denso, Hitachi, JVC, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba and Toto.

The research findings were presented to the factories and brands, the responses of which are included in this report. The role that sourcing companies, typically large electronics brands, could fulfil in improving the conditions of migrant workers in their supply chain is highlighted and a set of recommendations to achieve this goal are presented.

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