Bahrain: minimum wage

The government of India is planning to submit a proposal to the Bahraini government early next month concerning a minimum wage of US $265 (BHD100) per month for Indian expatriate construction workers in the Kingdom, Construction Week has learned.

Indian expatriate workers in Bahrain may soon get a minimum wage of US $265 per month. (Valeriano Handumon/ITP Images)
Indian expatriate workers in Bahrain may soon get a minimum wage of US $265 per month. (Valeriano Handumon/ITP Images)

The government of India is planning to submit a proposal to the Bahraini government early next month concerning a minimum wage of US $265 (BHD100) per month for Indian expatriate construction workers in the Kingdom, Construction Week has learned.

The Indian Ambassador to Bahrain, Balkrishna Shetty said: "I'm in talks with New Delhi at the moment and we're ironing out the finer details. We aim to present the proposal to the Bahraini government early next month."

Currently, Bahrain has no minimum wage for construction workers, with some earning as little as $122 per month.

"The next step is implementing this, as we expect many workers to agree to work for less. We are still working on how to prevent that from happening. We'll probably introduce fines for companies paying workers less than the stipulated minimum wage and also cancel work permits for workers who work for less. But the final decision is still to be agreed upon."

Shetty also said that the Indian government is keen to introduce a minimum wage across the Middle East for its citizens. This follows an announcement last week that Bahrain may establish a new trade union for construction workers, in order to safeguard their rights.

Like Bahrain, the UAE has not established a minimum wage for expatriate workers employed in the country - a contentious issue that has been much debated in the past few years and one that is believed by many industry experts and human rights bodies to be a major cause of the labour problems in the Middle East.

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