Dozens of Indian workers stranded in Oman, not paid for months

Energy Sunday 05/February/2017 21:11 PM
By: Times News Service
Dozens of Indian workers stranded in Oman, not paid for months

Muscat: Two dozen Indian workers, the majority of them without valid labour cards, remain stranded at a construction company and have not been paid for months.
“We are stranded without salary. For some, nine months salaries are pending and for others it is less than that. We have filed a case with the Ministry of Manpower and have also sought help from the Indian embassy in Oman,” a worker in Kabourah told Times of Oman.
Also read: More than 18,000 expats caught in Oman for labour law violations
“Of the 24 workers, some don’t possess valid resident cards, either,” the worker added.
Meanwhile, an official from the company said they are trying to repatriate the workers as soon as they receive the funds.
“Some of our bills were stuck. We will get them soon. We will be able to send workers back home in March,” the company official added. “We will clear all the dues and send them back,” the company official added.
Also read: 388 workers arrested for violating labour law
Oman’s construction industry has contracted over the last year due to falling oil prices, resulting in hundreds of workers being laid off and sent back to their home countries.
In 2016, one major construction company in Muscat flew 5,000 workers home after seeing a drop in new projects.
The Ministry of Manpower has stated that companies with no on-going work or funds to pay salaries should send their expat workers home.
Deepa Sudhir, a legal advisor in Muscat, said it is the responsibility of the employer to repatriate workers if the company does not have any projects and is struggling to pay salaries.
“If a worker is overstaying, then when leaving the country a fine has to be paid. It is the company’s responsibility to clear the fines. So, workers overstaying will turn into a huge financial burden for the employer,” the legal advisor added.
According to Sudhir, an overstaying expat will have to pay OMR30 at the immigration counter at the airport and OMR18 at the Ministry of Manpower counter for every month they remain in Oman.