Over 300 workers in UAE to get unpaid wages soon
HELP US, PLEASE: The distressed workers at their accommodation in Mussafah talk about their living condition with social workers of the Abu Dhabi Arts and Music Lovers Association.
Abu Dhabi - About 80 workers from the Indian state of Kerala are now looking forward to celebrating their harvest festival of Onam.
There is a glimmer of hope for more than 300 unpaid workers who have been surviving for months without basic facilities. Khaleej Times has learnt that these workers employed with a catering company will be paid in the next few weeks.
"The issue of Al Wasita Emirates Catering Services should be resolved shortly. They will receive their unpaid salaries, air tickets and visa cancellation done hopefully in the next week or so," said Pooja Vernekar, first secretary (community affairs), Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
About 200 workers are from India, 75 from Bangladesh and others from Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Egypt. When Khaleej Times conveyed the news to the distressed workers, there was a sense of relief and disbelief in equal measure.
"We have been hearing this for a while - that things will be sorted out. The mental stress we are facing without food to eat and money to send home is unexplainable. Since the Indian Embassy has confirmed this, we are hopeful. Insha Allah, I hope this is true," an Asian worker said.
Some others are just happy to hear about a positive development. About 80 workers from the Indian state of Kerala are now looking forward to celebrating their harvest festival of Onam.
"We were all depressed as it's Onam and we haven't sent any money home. This news has made this festival very special now. We have been stuck here for more than a year. And now we will soon be able to go home. We had read on your website about 320 workers being paid and hoped it was our company, but that was some other firm. But now we are relieved to know that we will get our salary soon," a worker said.
Another worker said their prayers have been finally answered. He noted that like-minded people and associations have helped them survive this far and now they can actually enjoy their festival.
The Abu Dhabi Arts and Music Lovers Association, a Mussafah-based group, has distributed food essentials to the workers to make Onasadhya (Onam feast). "We are thankful to them. We have also been welcomed to join their Onam event this Friday," a worker said.
The association's conveners Ayesha Zakir Hussain and Aji Vasudevan and its 25 members distributed the essentials recently.