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UAE flies home 150 stranded workers without pay

150 workers were stranded at Ruwais camp for eight months with limited access to food, after their sponsor went bankrupt

150 workers were stranded at Ruwais camp for eight months with limited access to food.
150 workers were stranded at Ruwais camp for eight months with limited access to food.

150 workers, stranded without pay for eight months, have been returned to their country by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisations in Saudi Arabia.

Stuck at Ruwais camp in the Western Region, the staff - mostly Indians and Bangladeshis - were left without any money with limited access to food and sanitation after their company went bankrupt, their embassies said, according to The National.

Their sponsor, Emguard Electro Mechanical and General Contracting, went bankrupt and failed to pay their wages.

Dinesh Kumar, first secretary at the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi, said: “There were 72 Indians stranded but the embassy was now working with the company and authorities to resolve the issue.

"We received complaints from workers about not getting their wages for months and wanting to go home.”

"We have written twice to local authorities about this. Now the Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratisation has taken up the case and decided to help repatriate workers by liquidating the security deposit of the company," he added.

The workers were told they could switch to another company but most opted to go home, according to Kumar.

Arman Chowdhury, the Bangladeshi embassy’s labour counsellor, said: "About 70 to 80 Bangladeshi workers are stranded there in Ruwais labour camp and they haven’t received their wages for about eight months”.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation said: "In response to complaints lodged by a number of Asian workers who hadn’t been receiving salaries, the ministry will take necessary procedures to get workers their financial rights by way of monetisation of the bank guarantee amount”.

"The ministry has also provided assistance to workers who wanted to work at other facilities," it said, adding that penalties are levied against companies that do not adhere to the law.

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019