LMRA pays for mistreated workers’ flights home

The LMRA is providing air tickets to scores of labourers who have decided to leave the Kingdom after being mistreated by their employers.The Ministry of Labour revealed yesterday that an agreement was formed with the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) to ensure that the employees are able to return home as soon as possible as the company that employed them is no longer able to meet its contractual obligations.

The LMRA will cover the workers’ travel expenses and will be repaid by the company in accordance with the relevant legal procedures. The Bahrain Tribune reported last Tuesday that the group of 130 workers had been left with no electricity after the company cut the power supply to their labour camp and told them to find alternative accommodation.

The workers also stated that they had not been paid their salaries in three months and that their employers were in possession of their passports. The Indian Embassy and the Ministry of Labour intervened to find a solution to the situation and the employees were given the option of either remaining in the Kingdom and transferring to another employer, or returning to their home country.

According to embassy officials, only three of the Indian workers in the group have decided to remain in Bahrain. The Labour Ministry clarified in a statement yesterday that Undersecretary Jameel Mohammed Ali Humaidan, Assistant
Undersecretary for Labour Affairs Sabah Salem Al Dosari, and officials from the Indian Embassy, held a meeting with representatives from the company to discuss ways of resolving the problems being faced by the company and its employees.

The ministry explained that those labourers who have chosen to leave will be provided with plane tickets while those who are to stay in Bahrain will be given adequate accommodation and temporary financial grants.

The ministry stressed that it is working to protect the rights of these employees and will take the necessary legal procedures against any employers who taint the reputation of Bahrain with such irresponsible behaviour.

The ministry added that it has received a letter from the Indian Ambassador in the Kingdom, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, lauding the way in which it handed this case.