Five striking Indian workers arrested in Kuwait

April 14th, 2008 - 5:59 pm ICT by admin  

Dubai, April 14 (IANS) Five Indian workers in Kuwait were arrested after about 525 contract workers went on strike at a labour camp, protesting violation of contract by the company they work for. A vast majority of the 525 workers are Indians, according to a report in the Arab Times.

“The arrest of our colleagues made every worker determined to go ahead with the strike and there is no backing down unless the company honours our demands,” the newspaper quoted one of the workers as saying.

“We tried to bring our supervisors to the table but to no avail. So, we were not left with any other option, but to go on strike.”

The workers, who were employed as carpenters, drivers, electricians and plumbers, alleged that they were paid 60 Kuwaiti dinars ($226) in salary against the KD100 ($376) mentioned in the contract.

They also alleged that the company was deducting KD67 ($252) annually under the pretext of residency fees, and that they were not paid for overtime work.

According to them, the police picked up the five workers without assigning any reasons for their detention.

“The five workers were not given any reason for their arrests as the police came to the camp and whisked them away. We seek immediate release of our colleagues,” a worker told the newspaper.

There are around 550,000 expatriate Indians in Kuwait and a large majority of them work as contract labour in the state’s booming construction industry.

Last week, around 90 Indian workers in a Kuwaiti construction company went on strike, alleging they have not been paid their salary for seven months.

That case has been taken up by the Indian embassy in Kuwait.

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