Employees of the road construction wing of a well-known contracting company in Kuwait gathered in front of the Ministry of Public Works in South Surrah to bring to the attention of the concerned authorities in the ministry the hardships they are facing for the past several months.
They waited outside the ministry premises in the scorching summer heat for more than six hours as their representatives, the company and ministry officials tried to end the stalemate.
One employee, who refused to give his name, said at the end of the meeting officials have failed to solve the problem and the ministry has reportedly given the company two days time to put an end to the employees’ dilemma.
The employees claim they are working on the ministry road projects and say the contracting company they are working for has not paid their salaries — some of them for as much as nine months. One of the workers said the company never fulfils its promises.
He said every now and then - after a gap of three or four months - the company pays the employees one month salary and this practice has resulted in salary accumulation. Another employee, who also refused to give his name, said he paid the company money to renew his residence permit and the accumulated three months fine although it was no fault of his.
Many employees claim they have been victimized by the company and are now either violators of residence law or labor law.
They added they are forced to work for other companies fully aware they are violating the residence law “but this is the only way to survive in the given conditions.” Another worker said when they refused to report to work and demanded their back pay, the company stopped water supply to their accommodation in Sabhan, forcing some of them to leave the premises. An Arabic daily quoting a reliable source had said earlier demonstrations by the workers had yielded no results.
The employees claimed although the Ministry of Public Works had paid their company its dues, the company did not pay them their salaries. Some of the employees said they will not report to work until the company pays them their back pay. They are in no mood for ‘one-month salary ploy’ adopted by the company. A majority of the workers are Egyptians and Pakistanis.
Courtesy: Arab times