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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Don't go on strike: India to women workers in Saudi

PTI  Riyadh, March 23, 2014
First Published: 13:04 IST(23/3/2014) | Last Updated: 13:34 IST(23/3/2014)

India has warned its nationals in Saudi Arabia against nefarious attempts by "self-styled social workers" to instigate Indian women workers to go on a strike.

Activities of such anti-social elements and illegal agents spoil the goodwill that exists for Indians in Saudi Arabia, the Indian Embassy in Riyadh said.

"It has come to the notice of the Embassy that some self-styled social workers and illegal agents have been instigating some Indian female workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to go on strike.

These illegal agents have also found to have circulated reports on the strike through social media trying to get it published," the embassy said in a statement.

According to the embassy, this is the same group of illegal agents who were found earlier instigating Indian workers to make negative statements casting aspersions on the government of Saudi Arabia and uploading them on social media.

"The Embassy would like to alert all Indian nationals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against the nefarious attempts of such self-styled social workers and illegal agents," it statement.

The embassy said it is important to note that "we live in a foreign country and are required to obey the rules and regulations of Saudi Arabia", urging all Indian workers in the country to follow them.

"Anyone who is found to be in violation of Saudi laws and indulge in strike-related activities would face penalty, imprisonment and deportation by Saudi authorities.

The Embassy has a mechanism in place to take up all issues related to the welfare of Indians in Saudi Arabia with the concerned authorities," said the embassy.

The statement came after a group of Indian women working as cleaners in Saudi Arabia went on strike, accusing their employer of discriminating against Indian workers and not paying them salaries for nine months.

The women, all from Kerala, work for a company contracted to clean a hospital in Riyadh.

"In the case of the female workers, the embassy is in constant touch with the workers, top management of the company and Saudi authorities. The embassy will continue to follow up on the case on a priority basis," the embassy said.

According to estimates, around 2.8 million Indians reside in Gulf Kingdom.


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