Al Hamad workers strike in Bahrain
Over 2000 down tools over unpaid wages
More than 2000 construction workers for Al Hamad Contracting are on strike in Bahrain and demanding payment of their wages.
The workers, who earn around US $185 (BD 70) a month, say they are owed one month’s salary which was due to be paid yesterday.
“They agreed to pay us before the 15th every month but this did not happen yesterday so we are not going to work,” said one Indian worker who preferred not to be named.
“If we are not going to be paid on time then many of us would prefer to be sent home.”
He said more than 4000 workers have already been sent home this year since construction has slowed or halted on many of Al Hamad’s big projects in Bahrain. These include Marina West, Villamar Towers and Reef Island.
“If the company sends me home I will be happy,” said another worker, also from India.
“We cannot get any overtime now. This used to be an extra BD20 ($53) every month. Now it is not worth staying here, especially if we don’t get our wages.”
An official spokesperson from Al Hamad was not available to comment. An engineer with the company told Construction Week that the company was not paid by one of its clients which had caused the delay to salaries.
Last week international NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a public statement criticising the Bahraini government for not taking strict enough action against employers who delay payment of wages.