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Indians' strike in Qatar fizzles out

The strike called by the workers demanding higher wages was deemed illegal by Qatar Labour Dept.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 18:47 IST

A strike called by around 2,000 workers, including Indians, employed by a local engineering company in Qatar has fizzled out after police arrested 80 of them, say local media reports.

The strike, called earlier this week by the workers demanding higher wages, was deemed illegal by Qatar's Labour Department.

A report in the Peninsula newspaper said the Labour Department found the contracts held by the employees valid and hence non-negotiable.

The report quoted sources as saying that the workers, including masons, carpenters, plumbers and others, were paid a monthly salary of 730 Qatari rials ($200).

Of this, 110 Qatari rials ($30) is deducted for providing subsidised food through canteen service near the workers' labour camp at the industrial area near Qatar's capital Doha.

"On an average, each worker gets 630 Qatari rials ($173) per month," the report quoted the sources as saying.

Meanwhile, Saif Al Khayarin, a labour inspector who handled the case, told the newspaper, "Workers who do not wish to work with this firm have to discuss the issue with the manager concerned of the company.

They will have to, however, buy air tickets on their own expense. Contracts held by these workers are also not negotiable since they are valid."

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

First Published: Jun 08, 2006 18:47 IST