A British National hired by Lae-based company has taken to Facebook to highlight alleged labor and work permit abuses by his employer.
Richard Martin, was recruited from the UK by Bola Motors last year. He said for five months, he was not paid the agreed salary.
Martin was recruited by Bola Motors in 2016 as an operations manager. He said according to his contract, he was supposed to be paid up to K5,000 per month. But when Richard arrived in Lae, that did not happen.
“I was given K100 per week. For an expatriate, that’s unacceptable. But For me, I managed to be prudent with the money and stretch it so it could last.”
For five months, in 2016, he did not receive a salary. According to his calculations, Bola Motors owes him over K100,000.
“The reason was that I “arrived early,” he said. “But if that was the case, why did the company send me the ticket money for a trip from England to Paris, then to Guangzhou, China, to Australia and to Papua New Guinea?
“I spent 10 days in Australia and then I was picked up at the airport.”
In 2016, Martin was told his work permit had expired and that he had to leave the country. But he was not given the letters supposedly sent from the Labour Department.
When he did get a copy of the letters much later, he noted it was badly written and someone else had signed on behalf the for the Secretary of Labour, Mary Morola. The letter stated that that Martin was in breach of his work permit and was performing the role of Marketing Manager instead of the Operations Manager role.
According to Richard Martin, he left with the understanding that he would resume work once the documents were processed.
“I filled out new forms, had my fingerprint taken and then left for the UK.”
Whilst in England, he received no updates and had to find another job, save some money and return to Papua New Guinea.
Upon arrival, his efforts to get answers from Bola Motors were not successful. He was then asked by a company representative to resign but refused.
In the last two weeks, he started a social media campaign posting videos, photographs and documents highlighting various claims of breaches of work permit laws and abuse.
Richard Martin was initially recruited by Monica Chen, who was a former work colleague in England. When EMTV tried getting a response from her, she refused to go on record but referred us to Ketan Lawyers who represent the company.
Monica Chen, however, said Richard Martin was terminated and his full entitlements werepaid. A claim Richard Martin denies.
When contacted, the principal of Ketan Lawyers, Simon Ketan, reaffirmed Monica Chan’s statements. Mr. Ketan further stated that Martin’s claims were false.
He added the company was going to court and would pursue defamation charges against Richard Martin.
Yesterday, a court order was given to Richard Martin restraining him from publishing material on Facebook.
Ketan Lawyers have also summoned him to appear in court. Contained in the court documents is a letter of termination saying Richard Martin was terminated on 3rd of February 2017.
There is also another date of termination – the 7th of February stated in the affidavit.
Richard Martin maintained he was never given a letter of termination.