800 factory workers end strike in Sharjah

AJMAN — About 800 workers of three Sharjah-based companies called off their flash strike last evening after the intervention of the Indian Consulate in Dubai.

By Afkar Abdullah And Riyasbabu

Published: Tue 29 Aug 2006, 9:11 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 6:20 PM

The workers of Indo Middle East Company and Al Khaleej Company of the CPS Global Group went on a flash strike yesterday morning, demanding their salaries pending for four months, action against the company for allegedly beating them up, and improvement in their abysmal living conditions.

The workers refused to report for work yesterday and approached the Indian Consulate in Dubai to intervene and resolve the issue.

According to an official at the Indian Consulate in Dubai, the problem was amicably resolved after the company agreed to pay two months salary today, and the rest to be settled soon. “We summoned the company officials and enquired about the allegations.

They agreed to pay two months pending salaries today and will look at improving the living conditions in the labour camps,” he said.

When Khaleej Times visited the labour camp, the labourers complained that they were facing several problems because the company was not treating them well.

Earlier in the day, when the workers protested outside the labour camp in Ajman, five workers — with fingers amputated after having suffered injuries at work recently — said: “The company has deducted the cost of medical treatment from our salaries. No compensation was given as the company did not insure us against work injuries.”

The workers have also filed a complaint with the Ministry of Labour against the company located in Sharjah with its labour camps in Ajman. The workers demanded immediate action against the company.

According to the workers, they have already submitted a list of their demands to the management, which has failed to respond.

They complained that the officials have not paid their salaries for four months, but promised every month that they would be paid the total amount next month. Anand Kumar, one of the protesting workers, said: “The company did not pay us any salary for the last four months. We are working in this company for a long time and all of us do not have health cards and insurances.”

Kareem, another worker, said: “There is a lack of drinking water and we are struggling daily in the camp to get potable water. We used to buy bottled water for drinking, but it proves to be expensive. Besides, our living conditions are very poor with more than 10 persons in one room, ” he said, disclosing that the labour camp which houses around 800 workers has only three toilets.

Workers also demanded that the company give compensation to workers injured while working.

The workers said that they are ready to go back home if the company refused to meet their demands. Speaking to Khaleej Times, Irine Shahani, Group Manager of the CPS Global Group, said: “We want to solve the problem peacefully, and all the pending salaries will be settled soon.

Shibu Sethuanthan, the company’s general manager is currently in India and will come back tonight to resolve the problems,” she assured.

Brigadier Saeed Humaid, Director of the Ajman Police Stations, said that they received a call at 8am about the labour protest by workers of a company based in Sharjah. The police reached the site, controlled the workers and prevented them from blocking traffic and creating violence.

The Al Nuaimia Police Station summoned the company representatives who promised to solve their problem.

The police officers directed the protesting labourers to go to the Ministry of Labour office in Sharjah and lodge a complaint against the company.

Brigadier Ali Alwan, Deputy Chief of Ajman Police, urged the municipality and concerned departments not to provide licence for labour camps unless they are sure it is suitable for living.

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