KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 ― Claiming unjustified dismissal, a former petrol station operator superglued his hand to the floor of oil giant Chevron Malaysia Limited (Caltex) at its headquarters here yesterday in a sign of protest.
Fadzilah Abdul Hamid took the drastic measure after Caltex officials at Menara Millennium purportedly ignored his bid for a meeting and kept him waiting over four hours yesterday, according to a news report in Sinar Harian.
“The operator Fadzilah Abdul Hamid turned up at 11am to meet the company’s upper management, but until 3.30pm, not a single representative met him,” Muhamad Yusuf Azmi, a social activist representing the operator, told the Malay daily.
“Until today, after 175 days since the date of the termination claim, no response has been received.”
Yusuf, special unit director of the Malaysian Islamic Consumers’ Association (PPIM), related that Fadzilah had worked as a Caltex petrol station operator the past 17 years.
Last May, Fadzilah was suddenly served a notice to vacate two premises at Kelana Jaya and Kampung Subang in Selangor within 30 days, purportedly for refusing to pay certain charges under a circular on the Implementation of Self-Service at Petrol Stations.
But Yusuf claimed in a posting on PPIM’s Facebook page that the circular dated April 11, 2000 issued by the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry clearly stated that “all costs for implementing self-service including the set-up of automatic devices and calibration of those devices are to be borne fully by the oil company and no direct or indirect charges are to be made by the petrol station operators”.
According to Yusuf further, the issue then took a legal turn and the Federal Court later ruled for RM300,000 to be paid to Caltex. However, after that, the oil company terminated Fadzilah’s services.
The activist also claimed that the compensation for the termination of the two petrol stations were estimated over RM700,000.
He claimed that Fadzilah and other Caltex operators had repeatedly asked the oil company to review the allegedly unfair charges, but at past meetings with the upper management, were given certain conditions, including non-disclosure of the contract and not to make any deposit claims.