Qatar court lets striking Indian workers take up other jobs

September 4th, 2008 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Sep 4 (IANS) A Qatari court has allowed nine Indians among a group of over 100 expatriate workers, who had gone on strike demanding payment of salary arrears, to take up other work pending a verdict on their case.The nine Indians moved the court Wednesday fearing retaliation from their managers and to protect their rights, the Gulf Times reported.

After the court order, the nine Indians have been working outside to earn their livelihood.

The workers in two labour accommodation camps of the company had halted work Tuesday demanding their salary arrears for two months.

The company’s managing director reportedly hails from Kozhikode district in Kerala.

According to the Gulf Times, the nine who were permitted to work outside, now expect their colleagues to follow them.

In another development, at the intervention of Qatar’s labour authorities, the company offered to pay the salary arrears and tickets back to Mumbai to a batch of 28 of the striking workers.

However, the workers rejected the offer saying that it was lesser than what they were offered and demanded that they be given tickets to the airports in India from where they had been brought and not just to Mumbai.

The workers had earlier alleged that they had been going without food as nearby groceries had stopped supplying them with their provisions pending payment of outstanding bills.

“We have not received salaries for more than two months and are in no position to settle our grocery bills,” a worker, who identified himself as a neighbour of the company’s managing director back in Kerala, was quoted as saying.

Now, they said, they had been relying on local mosques for food in the evenings, ever since the Islamic holy month of Ramadan started.

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