Striking Gulf Indians get ultimatum
Gulf Royal Tower Construction tells its striking Indian workers to report for work, or else face police action.india Updated: Sep 07, 2006 14:24 IST
The Bahraini firm Royal Tower Construction has issued an ultimatum to its Indian workers to report for work or else face police action.
It has threatened to lodge a complaint against them as people who have run away.
The warning came from the company on Wednesday.
The Indian workers are all survivors of the Gudaibiya labour camp blaze in which 16 of their colleagues were killed on July 30.
Ever since the blaze, the workers have been protesting against the poor working condition and the company's failure to pay their outstanding salary.
In August a deal was reached between the Royal Tower Construction Company and the Bahraini labour ministry regarding better pay, improved working conditions and releasing of unpaid salaries to the Indian workers.
With days of the deal the workers went on a flash strike after the Bahraini firm tried to forcibly deport two of their co-workers. The Indian embassy intervened and assured the workers of all help.
After the incident, around 180 of the 350 workers reported to work, according to a company representative.
The representative said dues of 181 workers have already been distributed and the remaining employees would get theirs when they return to work.
He also alleged many workers were illegally trying to find jobs at other places and if they did not return to work they would be declared runaways.
"We have put up a notice at their new labour camp that if they don't come for work by Sep 15, the company will declare them as runaways," the representative said.
Meanwhile, the Indian Ambassador to Bahrain, Balkrishna Shetty, said the company cannot operate on its own free will and proceedings should continue based on the Bahraini labour ministry's decision on the payment of dues.
"The company cannot take any decision as they wish and the embassy will work in accordance with the ministry's decisions," Shetty said.