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KUCHING: The Works Ministry is looking to absorb retrenched workers following the termination of the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak project delivery partner (PDP).

Its minister Baru Bian said that the federal government was very concerned with the fate of the workers under Lebuhraya Borneo Utara (LBU) who lost their jobs recently.

“The move to reabsorb the past workers of the project is to ensure the continuity of the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak project.

“Of course, the priority will be given to Sarawakians,” he told a press conference at Sarawak Public Works Department office here yesterday.

On Wednesday, some 500 workers from LBU were laid off following the company’s termination as the PDP for the highway project.

Most of those retrenched are Sarawakians while others losing their jobs included construction engineers from Peninsular Malaysia.

The retrenched employees include those working at LBU headquarters in Kuching and 25 site offices throughout Sarawak.

On where the workers would be placed, Baru said they would either be placed under the Works Ministry other agencies under the Pan Borneo Highway structure.

“We will see how we will go in, if it is possible, we will place them under the Ministry, if not we will open the space for them in other structure,” he said.

Baru added for the other workers who are not absorbed, their claims and compensation would be paid by LBU in accordance with the Labour Law.