Workers strike after alleged beating

Labourers from Bahrain's Jawad Eisa Contracting down tools after co-workers claimed to have been assaulted.

Bahrain: According to the Indian Ambassador to the country, the contractor has apologised for its behaviour, but it denies physical assault.
Bahrain: According to the Indian Ambassador to the country, the contractor has apologised for its behaviour, but it denies physical assault.

Over 300 construction workers in Bahrain employed by Mohammad Jawad Eisa Contracting Company went on strike last week, after a company manager allegedly beat six of their colleagues with a wooden plank.

The workers downed tools after the six workers complained they were beaten for not working fast enough at a site in Saar.

The Indian Embassy in Bahrain and the Ministry of Labour have intervened to try and solve the problem.

The workers have demanded better accommodation and a proper drainage system, along with an increase in their wages, which currently range from US $160 (BD60) to $200 a month.

Indian Ambassador to Bahrain, Balkrishna Shetty, told Construction Week, that the contractor had confessed to beating the workers, although it has since denied this.

"The sponsors have confessed and apologised for beating and mistreating their workers - saying it will not be repeated," said Shetty. "They have also agreed to improve the facilities at the accommodation and are revising the salary structure as well.

"It's unbelievable how such things can happen in today's world. Beating someone is the worst form of ridicule that even animal rights people wouldn't stand for and here we have human beings being beaten up.

"But the company has officially apologised for its behaviour and has met all the demands that have been made. They are now bending over backwards to undo the wrong they have done."

Shetty added that the labourers had been working on a high-end villa project.

A spokesperson for Mohammad Jawad Eisa Contracting Company, said: "We would never do such a thing and even if someone did hit them, he would hit maybe one not six people."

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