Workers 'duped into signing off' their legal dues

ABU DHABI - Five Arab employees have accused an Abu Dhabi-based contracting company of cheating them to forefeiting their due entitlements, Khaleej Times has learnt.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Sat 21 May 2005, 11:13 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:28 PM

The five Egyptian employees, who have been working for 'Qala'a Al Khaleej Contracting' establishment have alleged tha they were deceived when the mangement of the company made them sign papers it claimed were needed to issue them a labour contract, while they were actually signing off their legal dues.

When contacted, an official source at the Labour Dispute Department at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs said the labourers had complained to the labour authorities that they were ignorant about the documents they had signed and demanded that their full rights be restored.

"When the ministry summoned the company, it appeared that it has in its possession records signed by the employees stating they coceded in giving up their legal entitlements to the company", said the source.

However, he said, the labourers refused to acknowledge the records and denied they were informed of the content of the signed documents.

"The employees claimed the company had convinced them that the papers were essential for processing issuance of labour contract. They said the papers were among the other many documents and certificates they were asked to verify and sign", he said.

The complainants have also accused the company of stopping their salaries for the past three months, in addition to keeping back their overtime benefits.

"The employees have also claimed the money for the extra time of two to four hours that they claimed they did daily. They have also alleged that they paid for the fees levied for issuing them a visa", said the official.

He said further investigations will be conducted on the case, to safeguard the rights of employees and employer, in accordance with the labour laws and regulations set by the country.

When contacted by Khaleej Times, no official was present at the company for comment.

The labour official warned companies against exploiting employees, noting that stringent measures would be adopted to settle such cases "which damage the reputation of the local labour market", he said.

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