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Sat 9 Aug 2008 07:52 AM

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Health firm finally pays up in worker dispute

Some of 55 Asian workers left penniless in Riyadh get backpay and exit visas.

A medical company that left 55 Asian health workers stranded in Riyadh for several months has started paying the wages and arrears it owes them.

Fifty-five Pakistani, Indian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi workers complained to the Ministry of Labuor in March that the company forced them to work an extra year after their contracts expired.

The workers also complained that the company had failed to pay for their tickets, retained up to eight months’ wages and withheld approval for exit visas, Arab News reported on Saturday.

The Nukhba House for Medical Services, which was criticised by the US-based Human Rights Watch over the pay dispute, has now paid seven months of back pay to 13 workers while three workers had also received exit visas and were awaiting flights to leave the kingdom, according to worker quoted in the paper.

However settlements for other workers has still not been made, the worker added.

The Nukhba House for Medical Services was blacklisted previously for its failure to honour contract terms and forcibly holding back a number of nurses after the expiry of their contracts.

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