Asian workers go on strike

ABU DHABI — More than 20 Asian workers, mostly Indians and Pakistanis, struck work yesterday and approached the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs seeking its intervention in securing visa expenses and unpaid dues for the past two months from the company.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Sun 19 Jun 2005, 10:30 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:03 PM

The labourers, working for Al Atheer General Contracting Company, complained that their employer denied them Dh5,000 they paid for visa. They also alleged that the company had not paid them two-month salary and that they were entitled to get air tickets to fly home.

The workers claimed they were living under miserable conditions with no electricity in their camp. Consequently, they decided to stop work till they were paid their entitlements.

An official source at the Labour Dispute Department at MLSA said an official from the company had denied the labourers’ allegations about paying the company Dh5,000 in return for work visas.

“When we probed the issue of the money involved for getting the visa with the workers, who were recruited by a foreign agency, the labourers said they had paid the amount to someone who appeared to have no connection with Al Atheer,” the official said.

The ministry asked the labourers to approach the judiciary for the visa expenses since they had no proof that they paid the money to the company, he said, adding that the company official was cooperative, promising to pay them their dues according to the terms stated in the labour contract.

“We instructed the labourers to immediately resume work and explained them that their strike was illegal,” the official said.

Concerning accommodation, he said the company official denied the workers’ allegations about poor living conditions. The ministry, however, will send an inspection team to examine the camp.

The official said the company official complained that the labourers’ performance was poor and not up to the standard, failing to meet deadlines for completion of several projects.

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