UAE: Migrant workers employed by Al Wasita Emirates Catering Services have not received outstanding wages & flight home, despite court settlement
In January 2019 400 employees of Al Wasita Emirates Catering Services brought a legal dispute against their employer, alleging wages withheld for months. The migrant workers from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Egypt, Nigeria and the Philippines had also been housed in accommodaton with only intermittent supply of electricity and water, and had been surviving on discarded food.
After the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) and Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) intervened to dispatch a mobile court to the workers' accommodation, the company offered workers two options: to take 50% of their wages and a paid flight home, or to pursue the case via a labour court.
Although many workers chose the former option, by April they were still awaiting wage payments and repatriation and were stranded in the UAE with many missing important family events.
[The company said] "there is no information on why the delay in settling the payments". "We are also waiting for the right answers."
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Author: Anjana Sankar, Khaleej Times
[Indian migrant worker Jadeesh P. Shaji] has been working with Al Wasita for more than five years and the company owes him Dh11,000... his marriage date had to be cancelled twice because he is stranded in the UAE and cannot fly home due to a labour dispute... "I could not make it as the case was ongoing and my visa was cancelled." ...400 employees of Al Wasita Emirates Catering Services [are] awaiting the outcome of a legal settlement they have reached with the company... [unpaid workers] were surviving on discarded food after their company reportedly became non-functional. The men... are put up at a two-storey accommodation in Musssafah with limited and intermittent supply of food... electricity and water. In January, around 400 workers received 50 per cent of their salary... after the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) deployed a mobile court to the workers' accommodation... [many] are still awaiting payments and repatriation... [The company said] "there is no information on why the delay in settling the payments". "We are also waiting for the right answers."
Author: Anjana Sankar and Ismail Sebugwaawo, Khaleej Times (UAE)
A labour dispute involving nearly 400 workers of a catering company was settled... thanks to the high-level involvement of labour officials, the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) and diplomatic missions... The ADJD... deployed a mobile court to the workers' accommodation in Mussafah to expedite the resettlement of pending dues. According to statement released by the ADJD, authorities helped in paying Dh3 million in unpaid wages to 400 workers in Abu Dhabi by liquidating their employer's bank guarantee... The workers... spent weeks without food after some of the company owners fled the country. Water and electricity connection was also temporarily disconnected at their accommodation... [W]orkers were offered two options for settling the dispute. "They can take 50 per cent salary immediately along with air ticket and return to their countries within five days. Or they can pursue the case via the labour court and wait until the company can pay their full dues. Many workers are choosing the first option"... The ADJD confirmed that out of 400 workers, only 90 has opted to fight the case... According to officials, the labour dispute had started after the non-national partner in the company, as well as the executive directors, fled the country after misappropriation of large sums of money from the company. This resulted in financial issues and freezing of the company's funds under a judicial order...