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Assurances to pay, as workers still remain unpaid
April 1, 2017, 4:17 pm

Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Mrs. Hind Al Subaih has assured that the strictest action has been taken to resolve the delay in paying salaries to around 3,000 workers at a leading contracting company.

Speaking to The Times Kuwait, she said that all legal action has been taken against the company, including suspension of their file with the Social Affairs and Labor Ministry and making arrangements to en-cash the bank guarantees provided by the company to the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) for the contract, so as to enable paying the workers.

"We have informed the Ministry of Electricity and Water to make arrangements to pay the affected workers directly as soon as possible so as to ensure that the reputation of Kuwait is not harmed due to violations by such companies," she stated.

Al Subaih assured that payments would be made every 10 days, so that arrears of over six months’ salaries would be cleared in the shortest possible time. However, The Times Kuwait has been informed by the Indian embassy and the affected workers that so far no payments have been made. Nevertheless, the workers said they were hopeful of receiving their long overdue wages, following the assurances given by the Minister Al-Subaih.

Kuwait government has been serious in clamping down on visa trading and labor violations by companies who bring in laborers but cannot provide them with jobs. Thousands of files have been suspended and referred for investigation after the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor found them to be bogus companies. No arrests or convictions have been made so far.

Al Subaih further stated that the ministry had informed the Indian embassy to bring to their notice any labor violations taking place within a period of one month, rather than wait for months before raising the matter so that the concerned authorities can take action against the erring companies, more quickly and effectively.

The overdue salaries of around 3,000 workers have become a major issue of concern within the Indian community, as the living standards of the affected workers have deteriorated considerably over the past months. Recently, a Kuwaiti humanitarian volunteer organization arranged for free meals to be distributed in the workers camp. While this gesture was no doubt a welcome relief for the thousands living in the camp, the workers lamented that all they wanted was the salaries owed to them for their months of sweat and hard labor, and the right to return home safely to their families.


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