Muscat: Some 500 workers protested at the Manpower Ministry office in Suwaiq, about 136km north to Muscat, Wednesday.
The workers were demanding action against their company for not paying them for working overtime and deducting random amount from their salary every month.
“We are not given the mandatory five-day weekend and the owners also don’t pay overtime for working extra hours,” a worker for the Al Radic Construction company told Gulf News over the phone on condition of anonymity. He also claimed that there were about 500 of them at the ministry office.
He said that they took out the protest march but soon police arrived. “The police asked us to stop marching or face arrest,” he added.
He said that a ministry official intervened and asked the striking workers to board buses and reach the department instead of marching on the road.
“The workers boarded about four to five buses and were taken to the ministry department and they are all standing outside the office,” a resident from Suwaiq confirmed to Gulf News but preferred not to be named.
“This is the same company that had not renewed Labour cards of more than 500 workers,” PM Jabir, Welfare Secretary of the Indian Social Club, told Gulf News. He said that following intervention of the Indian Embassy and newspaper reports, the company had renewed the labour cards.
On the random salary cuts, a worker said that the company had told them that they were following new regulations. “Our contract says nothing about salary cuts,” he said, adding that instead of paying overtime for making them work more 45 hours a week, the company was depriving low-wage workers their hard earned money.
“We need justice and are confident that the ministry will resolve the issue and hope our embassy will take up the issue with the company and the local authorities,” the worker said.