By Neil Halligan
Construction labourers claim they haven’t been paid in three months
Workers on a construction site in Manama downed tools and staged a protest outside the Cyprus Building and Road Construction Company over a row about pay.
A total of 178 labourers from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, who earn between $185 (BD70) and $318 (BD120) a month, went on strike amid claims that they haven’t been paid for three months.
“We are forced to do this because this is the second time we are facing such a situation,” a worker told Gulf Daily News.
“We were not paid for October, November and December, but we did not protest and instead we remained inside the office and refused to work as we did not want to shame our company. Then the company paid us for two of the months and agreed to pay December's salary later on.”
The workers, he said, were not paid for December and haven’t been paid for January and February either.
“We have decided not to return to work until we get our salaries as we are finding it difficult to survive. We have expenses and families waiting for money as many of us are the only earning members in our families,” the worker added.
In response, a company representative told Gulf Daily News that the employees have refused to accept salaries for one month, and have demanded to be paid in full.
“The salaries are paid around the 15th of every month as we have to calculate the overtime dues for the workers, which has been the practice for years. So, it is only two months’ pay that is actually pending, while one month’s pay is ready which they are refusing to accept and instead demanding all the pending wages together,” he said.