Sewa halts power supply to factory

SHARJAH — The Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa) yesterday disconnected power supply to Al Noor garments factory in Sharjah following non-payment of bills by its owner.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 13 Nov 2005, 10:16 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:36 PM

Even though water supply seems unaffected, workers of the garment factory complained it has been "reduced significantly", if not stopped completely.

The disconnection of electricity has added to the woes of the 60-odd workers, who are already forced to do without salaries for six months. Besides, their food supply was also stopped by the owner earlier this month.

Only due to the help extended by the Sri Lankan mission in Dubai, "we have been able to manage things," said a worker, worried about their fate now with no power in their accommodation on the factory compound.

“Its pitch dark in our rooms and during the day it was very hot with no fan or air conditioner, complained workers tired and waiting endlessly for the labour court to settle their salary dispute and put an end to their miseries of living without money, food and now power.

A source at SEWA when contacted said, “disconnection of electricity and water is a normal action taken by the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority in case a person fails to pay the bills on time . “We issue warning letters to people who delay paying the bills and in case they continue not to settle the bills, we are forced to disconnect the electricity as our last option.”

“ In the case of Al Noor Garment factory, we issued several warning letters to the owners of the factory, but no action was taken from their side to pay their bills. So we disconnected the electricity,” the source said, refusing to disclose the bill amount.

No official of Al Noor garment was available for any comment. But, workers waiting for a labour court hearing scheduled for November 14 urged local authorities to sympathise with their plight and restore power on humanitarian grounds until they are repatriated home.

The workers of Al Noor Garment, mostly women from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India and Nepal have stopped work for over two months in protest of non-payment of salaries for over six months, lack of visas, and their inability to return home following overstay and delay in repatriation procedures.

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