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Bahrain: COVID-19 outbreak among Orlando Construction workers awaiting Labour Ministry decision on withheld wages & passports; co. did not respond

By June 2020, Migrant Rights reported that 150 workers at Orlando Construction Co. had not been paid for between three and six months. 30 workers are reported to have resigned, awaiting salaries, others continue to work without pay.

The workers were living in a "dilapidated camp" without food or income. At the time of writing a number had tested positive for COVID-19 but only two had been transferred to a quarantine facility. Another worker who tested positive was self-isolating in a separate room in the labour camp with more symptomatic workers; while they had been allocated separate washing facilities, they shared the same cooking and dining spaces with the rest of the workers.

The company is also reportedly in possession of workers' passports and will only release them and provide flight tickets home for workers on condition that they give up wage and settlement claims.

In May 2020 workers registered a complaint with the Labour Ministry resulting in one month's pay from the company. The Ministry of Labour is currently in negotiations with the company owners.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Orlando to respond to the allegations; they did not respond. Orlando has previously faced allegations of labour abuse against migrant workers.

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Company non-response
7 July 2020

Orlando Construction Co. re allegations of withheld wages & passports, and inadequate quarantine facilities amid COVID-19 outbreak

Author: Orlando Construction Co.

26 June 2020

“We Are All Going To Die Here”

Author: Migrant Rights

150 workers from Orlando Construction Company W.L.L. have not been paid for three to six months... [and] are struggling to survive in a dilapidated camp without food and income, and with little help from embassy and government...

Two [workers who tested positive for COVID-19] were transferred to the quarantine facility in Sitra, while the other is isolated in a separate room in the labour camp in Tubli along with several more workers... allocated a separate toilet and room, they still share the same cooking and dining space...

[One worker said] “Since the outbreak last week, the daily cleaners stopped coming to our camp and garbage has been piling up in the camp.”

Read the full post here