March 20, 2009: The investigation of the firm Spektra Alucast by the Penang-based staff of the Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA) continues to uncover surprises.
Details are hard to come by, but it turns out that the irregular payment of wages reported here previously prompted the Spektra Alucast workers to go on strike earlier this year. However, the company simply ignored the workers, who were essentially stuck with no work, no money, and no food to eat. In order to survive, the workers went into the nearby jungle to dig up cassava to eat, in addition to relying on aid from nearby churches.
CAMSA is currently trying to ascertain the details of the strike, why it failed to produce results, and what the workers’ options may be in the face of management’s apparent indifference to their very survival.