Company in the dock over pending salaries

ABU DHABI —The failure of a contracting company to meet a deadline fixed by labour authorities to pay workers’ pending salaries landed it in the labour court, Khaleej Times has learnt.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Sun 4 Sep 2005, 10:12 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:09 PM

Failing to deliver on its assurance that it would pay 22 labourers their dues during the grace period sanctioned by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, 'Rashidco Contracting Company' has to face legal procedures to protect labourer’s rights, an official at the Labour Dispute Department told this reporter yesterday.

The labourers who are of Asian nationalities lodged a complaint with the ministry in July demanding unpaid wages for about eight months, claiming the company has an irregular payment system. KT reported the dispute on July 18.

The workers refused the companies offer to receive their dues in instalments and insisted on either getting all their full dues or refer the case to the court, said the official.

"In a bid to spare the labourers the hassle of prolonged judicial procedures and safeguard their interests, the ministry had initially reached an agreement with the company to follow a systematic schedule in paying due wages as the company apparently suffers financial difficulties", said the official.

He said the ministry fixed September 1 as a deadline for payment to ensure an amicable solution to the dispute.

The official underlined the ministry had pledged to supervise the payment timetable to make sure the workers get their legal dues.

"Unfortunately, the company violated the date set for payment, claiming it has financial constraints. The ministry referred the case to the labour court to protect the rights of the labourers and make sure they get all their dues", he said.

When contacted, Fuad Gassim Aqil, company executive commented: "the company admits the workers have pending salaries. They should have accepted the offer to get their wages in instalments as the company is facing financial constraints, especially as most of the them have been working for the us for the past 10 years or even more. I believe the problem was not pending salaries but the workers tended to change the company and seek jobs elsewhere", he said.

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