40 illegal strike workers sacked
Manama, June 22, 2011
Forty construction workers yesterday (June 21) had their contracts terminated for taking part in an illegal strike and will leave Bahrain tonight.
They were among 300 Asian workers who took part in the strike that started Saturday to demand pay rises.
The other workers are expected to go back to their countries within this week.
Our sister newspaper the Gulf Daily News reported yesterday that disciplinary action would be taken against the workers for going on an illegal strike.
A Mohammed Jalal Contracting Company spokesman said earlier that workers had gone on strike without informing the management ahead of time.
A Labour Ministry spokesman said earlier that the workers had come to them to file a complaint, but they were asked to inform the company first.
He said that if they hadn't informed the company, it would be an illegal strike and the authorities wouldn't be able to take any action.
The workers from India, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh claimed they received salaries ranging between BD65 ($172.40) to BD85, which they said was not enough to survive. They also claimed they don't save enough to send to their families back home.
Labour Ministry and embassies' representatives visited the workers at their accommodation in Salmabad.
The workers said that they were asked to report to the ministry yesterday, where officials from the company and embassies would meet them to sort out the issue.
"We went to the ministry, but no one from the company or embassies came," said one of the workers, who is leaving tonight.We waited for a long time and a ministry official said they would take action against us if we didn't leave the offices.”
"He also said our demands are illegal and we could face prosecution and be jailed, if we didn't agree to what the company is telling us. We agreed and returned to the accommodation to pack our luggage to go home. We didn't do anything, except ask for our rights. Now 20 workers are leaving and the rest will go within this week, based on availability of flights."
Company officials were unavailable for comments yesterday. – TradeArabia News Service
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