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Bangladeshi workers strike in protest, 15 arrested over misbehavior
July 8, 2017, 5:36 pm

Hundreds of Bangladeshi workers, the majority comprised of cleaners, went on strike on 2 July to protest non-payment of salaries, and demand overtime and leave pay.  The workers refused to report for work in the last three days, and pushed for their demands to be met before they call off the strike.  The workers, who occupy camps in Jleeb Al-Shuyiukh and Khaitan, are employed to clean various offices and malls throughout Kuwait.

According to a spokesperson for the group, a Bangladeshi worker from Chittagong, said the number of striking workers could rise to 3,000, and 11 of them have not reported to work since Saturday. Among their complaints, he said that they have been working like slaves, around 16 hours a day, but there has been no compensation for the additional eight hours. He complained that the company has made promises to pay but nothing has happened.  Moreover, the spokesman mentioned that some of the workers have not even been paid for up to three months, which puts their families and their own survival in jeopardy.

The spokesman also revealed that around 15 of their colleagues were arrested last week and nobody has heard anything about them. He pointed out that the officials of the company told police to arrest them as they were failing to report for their duties and were fighting for their salaries.

The Bangladeshi embassy has been notified of the plight of the striking Bangladeshi workers, and has responded accordingly. The embassy's First Secretary (Labor Department) Abdul Latif Khan stated that a meeting was held with the company’s officials, who gave assurances that the workers were paid and the remaining dues would be paid soon. The officials stressed that the names of those who were not paid would be listed, and they would receive payment soon.

Regarding the issue of the 15 detained workers, Khan said that the managers explained that the workers were arrested because some of them misbehaved with the managers. The embassy’s First Secretary appealed to the managers to not to punish the workers with arrests, and stressed that negotiations are underway to resolve the problems.


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