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Bahrain workers' dispute resolved

Fourteen labourers employed with a construction firm had alleged that they had not been paid their salaries for two to five months.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2006 16:17 IST

A dispute regarding non-payment of wages by a Bahraini firm to its Indian workers came to an end after the matter was reported to the Indian embassy in Manama.

According to reports, 14 Indian labourers, employed with Classified Construction Company in Salmabad in Bahrain's Central Governorate, had alleged that they had not been paid their salaries for two to five months.

"We have repeatedly asked our employer to give us our dues. He would pay us for 15 days and nothing more than that," one of the labourers told the Bahrain Tribune newspaper.

"All the workers are heavily in debt," another said.

They also alleged that some of them were beaten up by their sponsor for asking for their wages. The incident happened on Tuesday when the workers refused to leave their Salmabad accommodation unless they were paid their dues.

"Later on in the day our boss came with his brother-in-law and hit two of us, tearing their shirts and we had to rescue them from their grip," a report in the Gulf Daily News newspaper quoted one of the workers as saying.

The men then lodged a complaint with Bahrain's labour ministry, which advised them to inform the Indian embassy too.

On Wednesday morning, the workers apprised officials of the embassy in Manama about their plight.

The embassy then summoned the Bahraini managing director of the firm against whom the allegations were made.

During the talks that followed, he agreed to pay any money owed to ensure that the workers are treated properly, according to the newspaper report.

According to the agreement that was finally reached, the company will pay two of the employees, who had joined just two months ago, their whole salaries, including overtime.

The remaining 12, who are owed five months salary, will now get two months' salary and the rest over the next three months.

"We will agree to any decision taken by the embassy and also the boss has agreed that if we still want to go home, he will send four of us now and the remaining after submitting a month's notice," one of the workers later told the Gulf Daily News.

"Earlier, when business was not good we were paid our wages on time. But now, when it is booming, we are not being paid," he said.

There are over 130,000 Indians in Bahrain, many of them working as contract labourers.