Over 100 Indian workers in Qatar to return home

August 29th, 2008 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Aug 29 (IANS) Over 100 Indian workers in Qatar will be sent back to India after the firm which hired them lost a major contract, a media report said. The workers have alleged non-payment of salaries and of inhuman living conditions.An official in the Indian embassy told the Gulf News newspaper that 40 of the 107 men would be flown back to Indian immediately and the rest would follow over the next week.

“The matter has already been resolved through the embassy and let’s not complicate it any further,” the official told the newspaper.

The move comes after the company, which hired the workers, most of them skilled, lost a major contract and had to utilize them in work other then what they had been recruited for.

“Today (Thursday), a company official has met us and promised to pay all outstanding dues to those who performed duties (as some never worked) and send the labourers back to India in less than a week’s time,” he added.

According to the newspaper, 107 Indian workers lodged their protest with the Indian embassy Thursday alleging non-payment of salaries and inhuman living conditions in the company they worked for.

Though a majority of the protesters are skilled workers like technicians, welders, riggers and fielders, they were allegedly given unskilled labour jobs.

They alleged that they were also made to work long hours instead of the 10-hour work schedules they were promised.

They also said that they were made to live in inhuman conditions with 10 to 12 men crammed in a room.

According to the newspaper, the men were promised salaries ranging from 1,200 Qatari riyals ($329.5) to QR1,500 ($412).

“I was part of the first batch of 14 labourers that arrived on June 3 and was given a one-time QR300 ($82.5) payment and was put to do petty work such as cementing,” the report quoted one of the workers, Nazesh Kumar, as saying.

When some of the workers protested and refused to do the work, the manager reportedly threatened police action.

Majority of the workers had paid Rs.50,000 to Rs.60,000 to a recruiting agent in Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh for the jobs.

Other workers hailed from Kerala and Mumbai.

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