Dubai: Due to the irresponsibility of Malayali employers, 125 employees of a company at Jebel Ali industrial area are in a dilemma. They have not been receiving payment for months. Also the air conditioner in their shelter was disconnected despite the intense heat. With this, they are sleeping on the terrace of the building suffering heat and dust wind. The employers are still not taking any action, said the workers.
The staff of a marine engineering company in Jebel Ali are struggling due to the adverse situation. Many of them have not been paid for the past 15 months. The company is owned by a Netherland citizen. When he went for treatment in USA, a Malayali person in a higher position of the company and another person was left in charge. Following this, the company administration was in disarray. Salary disbursement, insurance and visa renewal were stopped.
The only relief is that they get food at the shelter home. As they do not get payment, their dependent families in Kerala also are struggling. A Malayali employee named Sarath fell off from the building in the shelter home last year and was under treatment with injuries. But the employers did not help him and Sarath committed suicide later.
Malappuram native Shanmughan died during the job. His family did not get any compensation and the employers misappropriated the amount, the staff alleged. Though the employees want to go back to Kerala, they have to pay a fine for unauthorised residence.
Since the employers do not support them, the workers are forced to pay the fine on their own. Among them, 25 labourers managed to get the amount from their relatives in Kerala and returned. But others who did not get even their salary for 15 months cannot arrange the amount and are stuck in Dubai.
Ponnani native Balakrishnan had to postpone his daughter’s wedding thrice due to shortage of money. When he requested the employers to pay at least some of the outstanding payment, they did not respond.
The labourers have lodged a complaint to union minister of state for external affairs V. Muraleedharan during his visit to Dubai. The only request they have is to help them return home.