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 750 construction workers went on a strike

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Pascal
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Number of posts : 225
Localisation : France
Organisation : UL CNT Besanšon
Registration date : 2006-08-20

PostSubject: 750 construction workers went on a strike   Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:20 am

Daily India, 11 august :

Quote :

Expat workers strike over 'camp ordeal'

Dubai, Aug 11 (IANS) Over 750 Indian and Pakistani construction workers in Bahrain went on a strike in protest against the appalling conditions at their labour camp.

Two workers, Mohammed Munshi Ali, 35, and Bhimaram Nehra, 30, collapsed apparently due to acute dehydration at the Nuwaidrat camp on Thursday, reported the Gulf Daily News newspaper.

The workers claim they have been living without water and electricity for over a month and repeated complaints to their employer, Dubai-based Al Hamad Construction and Development Company (HCDC), had fallen on deaf ears, said the report.

The Indian and Pakistani workers have said they will not go back to work until their living conditions are improved.

HCDC has put the blame on Bahrain's electricity and water ministry. The company's acting administration manager Hassan Abdul Fateh said that his firm was fair to its workers.

'We have been providing them with water tankers, but it is not easy to meet the needs of such a large number of people, though we are doing our best,' Fateh told the newspaper.

'We've been facing water and electricity shortages for more than a month now, but for the past three days there has been a complete blackout,' said Dharmendar Yadav an Indian worker.

Workers claim that the accommodation managers at the camp were abusive and threatening. They said Bahraini dinar (BD) 50 was being cut from their wages for the past six months to pay for the visa extension.

Two weeks ago 17 Indian workers were killed in a blaze that broke out at an overcrowded three-storey building.

Gulf Daily news, 11 th august :
Quote :

Strike over 'camp ordeal'

MORE than 750 construction workers went on strike yesterday in protest at what they claim are appalling conditions at their labour camp.

Two of the men collapsed at the Nuwaidrat camp yesterday and were taken by ambulance to Salmaniya Medical Complex.

The workers say the camp has been without mains water or electricity supplies for over a month, despite repeated complaints to their employer, Dubai-based Al Hamad Construction and Development.

But the company says the shortage is down to the Electricity and Water Ministry and that the firm has supplied water and generators, though these had run out of fuel.

The Indian and Pakistani workers say they will not go back to work until their conditions have been improved.

They say they are being deprived of their basic needs and that they have been threatened with deportation if they complain.

The two men taken to hospital, Mohammed Munshi Ali, 35, and Bhimaram Nehra, 30, were said to have collapsed due to dehydration.

"We've been facing water and electricity shortages for more than a month now, but for the past three days there has been a complete blackout," said worker Dharmendar Yadav.

"Mohammed and Bhimaram fainted because they didn't get water for the past couple of days. We are always threatened by the management that we will be sent back home and thus lose around BD1,000 each that we spent for our visas to get here."

Living conditions in the camp are appalling, said Mr Yadav. "There are 24 of us crammed in to a 400sq ft room and the state of our kitchens and bathrooms is pathetic," he said.

Another worker, who would not be named, said the kitchen and toilets were highly unhygienic. "Ten of us have to cook in a small cubicle that we call a 'kitchen' and the toilets are so filthy," he said.

Workers claimed that accommodation managers at the Nuwaidrat camp and another in Salmabad were abusive and threatening. They said they each earned BD60 to BD90 a month, but BD50 was being cut from their wages for six months, to pay BD300 for their visa extensions.

"If we tell our basic needs to our labour camp manager, he pretends as if he doesn't hear or tells us that we can run away if we don't like it there," said one worker.

"The Salmabad accommodation manager just came now to bully us into going to work and told us to be satisfied with whatever we had.

"We had warned them on Wednesday night that we would go on strike, but they ignored us."

Company acting administration manager Hassan Abdul Fateh said the company was fair to its workers.

He said the shortage of water and power was the responsibility of the Electricity and Water Ministry. "We have been providing them with tankers of water, but it is not easy to meet the needs of such a large number of people, though we are doing our best," said Mr Fateh.

"We have also provided them with generators, but they ran out of fuel and our engineers are working on it."

Sources said a similar demonstration was staged in Dubai around four weeks ago by 1,000 workers of the same company.

Electricity and Water Ministry officials were not available for comment.
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