Trade unions concerned over Indian workers’ arrests in UAE

July 8th, 2008 - 11:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) Six trade unions have written to External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee expressing their concern over Friday’s arrest of about 3,000 Indian workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on charges of rioting. “We express our serious concern and protest over the inhuman treatment meted out to the migrant Indian workers at the UAE and urge upon you to please strongly intervene both at the diplomatic and at the embassy level so that the concerned workers are immediately released,” the letter reads.

The letter is signed by Gurudas Dasgupta of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), M.K. Pandhe of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), R.A. Mittal of the Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Abani Roy of the United Trade Union Congress (UTUC), Swapan Mukherjee of the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) and S.P. Tiwari of TUCC.

“Instead of threat of deportation made by the UAE government, the workers’ genuine concerns should be addressed appropriately and our embassy representatives as well as the concerned overseas Indian affairs ministry (officials) should act more proactively in taking care of the rights and livelihood of millions of migrant Indian workers abroad,” it notes.

The Indian workers were detained in three jails in the UAE after employees of a ceramics manufacturing unit in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah damaged property and burned vehicles Friday night to protest poor quality of food at their canteen.

This was the first time Indian workers had indulged in violence in the Gulf nation.

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