UAE: 40 Nepalis employed by Emirates Cab allegedly left under-paid without food or accommodation

40 Nepali men have allegedly been left stranded and without money after they accepted jobs as taxi drivers with Emirates Cab. The company failed to pay them as promised and did not provide them with accommodation; they had also been charged recruitment fees illegally in Nepal.

On arriving in Sharjah in September 2019 the men discovered that their salary would be only a fraction of what they had been told they would receive. They had also been promised accommodation and an additional food allowance; in December 2019, however, the men were evicted from the company's apartments.

In February 2020, 10 Nepalis were repatriated following negotiations with the company.

On 20 March, a Nepali welfare charity found two rooms of accommodation for the men but the workers would have had to leave unless they could pay the second month's rent. Owing to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and related travel bans, it is uncertain when the remaining workers will be able to return home.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre contacted Emirates Cab Co. and invited them to respond to the allegations; they did not respond.

By 4th July, at least 15 men had returned to Nepal penniless after their airfares were paid by the recruiting agency in Kathmandu. They were not asked if their company had paid them as they left UAE, but only for health details before being taken to quaranting on arrival in Nepal.

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10 July 2020

Nepal: Cases of migrant workers left jobless & unpaid without govt. assurance widespread, say labour experts

Author: Chandan Kumar Mandal, Kathmandu Post

"Jobless and without pay, migrant workers are returning home. But they have no recourse for compensation," 4 Jul 2020

Labour migration experts have been expressing concern about the migrant workers returning home without pay and without prospect of ever recovering their pay.

Jeevan Baniya, a labour migration expert, said following the Covid-19 pandemic, cases of workers getting their contracts terminated, employers not paying their workers companies getting shut have become widespread in labour destination countries...

According to the Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC), a non-governmental organisation working for the welfare of migrant workers, 22 percent of the workers, who had contacted the organisation to seek help to return home, complained about arbitrary contract breach, unpaid salaries, bonus and other company facilities.

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Emirates Cab to respond to the allegations against them in May; it did not respond.]

Read the full post here

Company non-response
4 May 2020

Emirates Cab re non-paid wages and lack of accommodation for 40 Nepali workers

Author: Emirates Cab

16 April 2020

“We don’t want to die in this desert”: Nepali workers in the UAE plead to be brought home

Author: Ramesh Budhathokim, Kathmandu Post (Nepal)

From mid-February to mid-March, [40 Nepalis] slept on the sidewalks and in public parks, surviving on food [donations]... After they resigned from their job, which was neither paying them as promised nor providing accommodation, they had... no place to live and no money...

[The workers] all migrated to the UAE to work as taxi drivers for Emirates Cab seven months ago...

They had been promised 1,500 dirham, approximately Rs49,585, as salary and an additional 300 dirham for food, besides accommodation... once they were given taxis, they were evicted...

They were paid between 100 and 200 dirham, when it cost them an average of 300 dirham for accommodations and another 300 for food.

Read the full post here