17 more Lankan women lodge plaint with ministry

Nada S. Mussallam
Filed on August 3, 2005

ABU DHABI Seventeen more Sri Lankan women cleaners joined their colleagues in filing a complaint with the labour authorities against their company over alleged unpaid dues.

On July 26, eight Sri Lankan women working as cleaners with 'West Coast Cleaning and Environment Service Establishment' in Bida Zayed Hospital lodged a complaint against their company alleging that they had not been paid salaries for three months. The latest batch of 17 have complained to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs that they have pending salaries of four months.

The 17 women workers, who work for the same company in the city of Al Ain, claimed their contract expired and that they had requested the company to move them to the capital seeking lighter duties.

"We were sacked only because we demanded to be relocated to the capital when our contract in Al Ain expired. We demand air tickets, gratuity and late dues if we are forced to leave the company," one of the cleaners told Khaleej Times.

An official source at the Labour Dispute Department at the ministry told Khaleej Times: "The cleaners were very frustrated and appear exhausted. They claimed the company has decided to cancel their visas because they requested to be shifted to another location upon expiry of their contract."

He said the ministry would summon the employer to investigate the cleaners' claims to protect their rights and ensure quick and amicable settlement to the dispute.

Meanwhile, the problem of the first batch of eight cleaners was amicably resolved with the ministry summoning the company's manger who was willing to settle the case amicably, he said.

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