Hundreds of labours protest over unpaid wages in Bahrain

Workers were allegedly not paid salaries for 45 days
(Image for illustrative purpose only - Getty Images)
By Staff writer
Tue 19 Jul 2016 09:36 AM

Hundreds of labourers marched in protest towards the Labour and Social Development Ministry in Bahrain over unpaid salaries by GP Zachariades Civil Engineering and Contractors firm.

The workers started the march from their labour accommodation in Ma’ameer and headed towards the ministry in Zayed Town yesterday morning, ministry officials told Gulf Daily News.

The officials convinced the labourers to return home with promises that the company would resolve the issue by the end of the week.

Over 2,000 labourers took part in the protest according to labour affairs assistant undersecretary Dr Mohammed Al Ansari. However, GP said the figure was only 600.

It also said slammed claims by authorities that the labours were heading toward the ministry. It said they were ‘simply walking from one labour camp to another.’

According to Al Ansari, more than 2,000 employees who have not been paid their salaries for the past two-and-a-half months.

“We do not know the reason for non-payment, but the employees were walking towards the ministry in protest. Our officials met them around 11.30am and in discussion with the company, the management has agreed to pay one month’s salary today and the rest of it by the end of the week,” he said.

“We do not know what [the company’s] reasons are and if the reasons are genuine, we may have to support them as well, as we cannot afford businesses leaving the market, which will leave people jobless. We have had incidents in the past where firms failed to get bank loans, went bankrupt or lacked reserves,” Al Ansari added.

A GP spokesman denied the three month wage delay and said it was equivalent to 45 days only. He said the reason is due to late payments to the company from several private and government projects in the past few months.

“The company is now finalising special arrangements for securing funds for payment, and has already informed the workers that payment of all due wages will be made by the end of this week. The company clearly regrets that the wages were delayed in the first place and acknowledges the inconvenience that this has caused to the workers,” he said.

“The company also regrets that, despite having clearly conveyed its assurances to the workers for payment by the end of this week at the latest, a large number of them did not report to work yesterday,” he added.

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