150 Nepali workers jobless, unpaid for seven months in Abu Dhabi

- HOM KARKI, Kathmandu

Jan 10, 2019-

One-hundred and fifty Nepali migrant workers in United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi are left in lurch after they were laid off seven months ago. The company that goes by the name Al Wasita Emirates for Services & Catering said it was unable to allot job and pay the due salary to the workers citing that it failed to get new contracts for work. The company employed some 1,000 workers from Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

What came as a serious blow to the workers is that the company said it was unable to renew the visa or provide air ticket to the workers and tried to back down from its responsibility telling them to manage their living on their own. The labours have not been paid the salary of seven months and company stopped providing them food for the three months.

“We were already distressed due to lack of work for the past seven months. On top of that, the company now distanced itself from its responsibilities towards us telling us to live the way we want,” said Rabindra Shrestha of Surkhet. “Some of our friends’ visa dates have expired and the fine is accumulating each day. We are unable to return to our country.”

Shrestha said that they refrained from seeking help from the Nepali Embassy earlier as the company had asked them to wait till December.

Some labours lamented that had they visited the embassy or labour court in time, the company’s financial transaction would have been stopped, and they would have been able get their rightful salary and allowance. “But the company closed its accounts and did injustice to us,” said Shrestha.

The victims started seeking Nepali embassy’s help after they were forced out of the labour camps. The company relocated them to Musafa-40 labour camp in Abu Dhabi after it could not give them work and salary. To add to their misery, the UAE police have urged the labours to refrain from roaming outside the camps.

The company specialised in supplying foods to workers at UAE border patrolling force, oil industries, and hospitals, among others. Most workers working in the company were cook, waiter, storekeeper, cleaner and supervisor. Their salaries extended from 900 to 4,000 Dirham.

Meanwhile, the Nepali Embassy sent a team under labour counsellor Bhesh Bahadur Karki to inspect the situation of Nepalis in the camp. Karki said that the company’s Human Resource manager said that even they were denied of the salary and only the owners can resolve this issue. The company owners are out of reach.

Acting ambassador Sagar Phuyal said that the embassy has brought the attention of UAE’s foreign ministry and labour ministry regarding the incident.

Published: 10-01-2019 20:29

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