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Yet another local company defaults on salary payments
April 15, 2017, 5:04 pm

Nearly a month after being assured of salaries by the company’s management and weeks after being guaranteed payments by no other than the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor Hind Subaih Barrak Al-Subaih, many workers of Kharafi National, a leading construction company in the country, still continue to languish in desperation.

Now reports are coming in of yet another company — Mushrif Trading & Contracting — a leading civil construction and infrastructure company in Kuwait and the region, reneging on their promise to pay salaries to workers.

Last week, hundreds of workers from Mushrif Trading & Contracting approached the Indian Embassy seeking the ambassador’s support for obtaining their long due salaries. In their letter of grievance submitted to the embassy, the workers complained that they had not been paid their salaries for two months, and that their plight was becoming increasingly precarious by the day.

Over 2,750 employees, working for various projects of Mushrif Trading & Contracting, are believed to be affected by the company’s decision not to pay the monthly salaries of employees. On receiving a petition from the workers, the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Sunil Jain has dispatched a formal letter to Minister Al-Subaih drawing her attention to the issue and requesting her immediate intervention so as to ensure the workers do not continue to suffer and that they are paid their pending salaries. The embassy also sent a similar letter addressed to the Acting Director-General of the Public Authority for Manpower.

For the record, in late-March, following Minister Al-Subaih’s direct intervention, the Ministry of Electricity and Water (MEW) was asked by the Social Affairs Ministry to revoke the bank guarantee provided by Kharafi National and pay salaries directly. However, the workers said that so far they have received no payments, neither from Kharafi National nor from MEW.

Companies in Kuwait that are alleged to have repeatedly held back the salaries of their employees are not small-time operations. These are well-established organizations with a track-record of working profitably on public and private sector projects for more than 30 or 40 years.

These are companies that often tout their ISO certifications attesting to the quality managements systems they have in place. These are companies that frequently extol the virtues of their human resources and claim that employees are their greatest asset.

And yet, at the drop of the hat, these companies abandon their greatest asset in the street and ask them to fend for themselves.

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