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Bangladeshi workers back to work after 3-day sit-in protest

KUWAIT: Hundreds of Bangladeshi workers who staged a protest are returning to work after their demands were considered. “The problem is resolved. We are back to work now and some will be working from tomorrow,” said Shihab, who is acting as the spokesperson for the 300 workers who staged a peaceful sit-in protest over non-payment of salaries and “extortion” of money. The workers – porters and cleaners – were refusing to report to work for days.

“Thank you Kuwait Times for the report (that was published earlier this week). If not for you, we would not have got any positive response from anyone. We are all ready to report to work again, with conditions,” Shihab said. The workers are demanding their Bangladeshi manager, whom they accuse of extorting money from them, be punished or removed from his post.

According to a Kuwait Times source, two Bangladeshi Embassy officials went yesterday morning to meet the workers. The two labor officials were accompanied by another manager of the company. “Hopefully, they will accept our demands, and our salaries will be paid too,” he said.

Bangladesh Embassy Counselor (Labor) confirmed he sent his representatives Farid Hussein and Tahidul Islam. “They found some violations by the company, but with regards to the company manager, we are still investigating. Our officials visited the camp and spoke to the workers and the manager too. The problem with the manager is not the concern of my office, as he is a fellow Bangladeshi. It must be resolved by the company itself. Any crime committed by this person must be dealt with under Kuwait law since it was committed here in Kuwait. If he goes back to Bangladesh, and the workers file a complaint against him there, our law will handle it,” he noted. “As far as the embassy is concerned, we visited the place, we verified their problem and now we are doing our utmost best to help them with regards to their unpaid salaries.”

By Ben Garcia

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