Muscat: Indian construction workers stranded at a camp in Jifnain, some 80 kilometres from Muscat, have been thrown a lifeline after the Indian embassy stepped in to help resolve their issues.
Read also: No Eid or Onam festivities for stranded expat workers in Oman
Around 80 workers had been facing salary issues for the last four to five months and out of these 80, around 50 no longer possess valid labour cards as the cards have expired.
“Our struggle has gotten immediate attention after it was reported in the Times of Oman. We were called by the Indian Embassy. Indra Mani Pandey, the Indian ambassador to Oman, listened to our issues. He was quite compassionate. He has assured us that the Indian embassy will talk to the company officials without any delay and find an amicable solution,” a worker said.
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The Times of Oman first reported the workers’ pathetic condition on September 8 in an article entitled, “Expat workers stranded without salary in Oman.”
Without proper salary, food and support, the workers were left in the lurch by their employer.
“Following the news story, we are getting help from many kind hearted people. We are thankful to those who have come forward to help us and also to the Times of Oman for reporting our situation,” the worker added.
An official from the Indian Embassy said they are in touch with the company officials and hopeful that the issues will be resolved without much delay.
Due to the ongoing slump in global oil prices, many companies in Oman no longer have enough projects to sustain their workers and are also being hurt by the delay in getting bills cleared and other operational hassles, which have left their workers in a dire situation.
Hundreds of stranded expat blue-collar construction firm workers could not celebrate Eid Al Adha or Onam (the Indian harvest festival) this year due to their impoverished circumstances.
Article 51 of the Oman Labour Law states that employees, who receive their salaries on a monthly basis, shall be paid once a month at least.
According to legal advisors in Muscat, employers are bound to pay a salary every month if the job contract cites monthly payment and the worker has the right to lodge a complaint or to stop working if the employer fails to follow the signed job contract written on the basis of Oman Labour Law.
Company bosses claim that due to economic conditions, they are struggling to get funds released on time from clients, which is affecting the payments of workers’ salaries.