20 Fabtech labourers to be deported

ABU DHABI — Labour authorities here have decided to deport 20 labourers as a punishment for inciting others to keep off work and to slap a one-year ban on their return to the country.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Fri 15 Apr 2005, 11:43 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:04 PM

“We found that these labourers were guilty of influencing their colleagues to adapt an intransigent stance and refusing to yield to solutions the ministry suggested to settle the problem,” a source at the Labour Dispute Department told Khaleej Times.

He said the labourers have also been prompting other workers to keep off work, exploiting the ministry’s keenness to safeguard their rights. The Asian labourers were part of 400 workers from Abu Dhabi-based Fabtech Company, who went on strike in February, seeking early payment of wages over due for four months.

The case was handled by Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Kaabi, Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Affairs, personally giving the company a deadline to pay the workers after which he threatened stringent legal actions.“The company showed full cooperation and paid the dues before the expiry of the deadline. However, some of the labourers refused to go back to work claiming that they should get a guarantee that the company would pay them salary for the period they kept off work,” said the official. He said the company promised the ministry that it would meet all the demands of the labourers and issued them notices to resume work.

“The company has taken tangible steps to show its seriousness, including improving the accommodation of the labourers. The management has complained of huge losses it incurred due to the uncompromising stance of some labourers,” he said.

However, he said, some of the labourers, who seemed aspiring for a visa transfer, started inciting other labourers to keep off work and to stop dealing with the company.

“On Wednesday, a group of the workers went on strike and gathered outside the ministry for no reason. They didn’t have valid explanations and we felt that something should be done to stop this chaos.”

He said the ministry has issued an order to deport the labourers, who were behind the stir and slapped a one-year ban on them.

“We are seeking to safeguard the rights of both the employees and the employers and strike a balance between the two ends,” said the official.

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