From: M Hassan Ganguli <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, Jun 16, 2013 at 8:57 AM
Subject: [tanzeemhumhindustani] More cases of worker abuse come to light
JEDDAH: IRFAN MOHAMMED
Sunday 16 June 2013
Last Update 16 June 2013 2:39 am
Two newly arrived groups of Indian workers here are claiming that they have been duped with promises of good jobs in Dammam, only to be hired out to construction companies for long working hours without pay.
The 29 workers said that they are physically abused, locked up without telephones, have no medical care and often go hungry.
This is the third group of Indians that has been conned this way in Dammam since the beginning of the year.
One group of nine Indians from Rajasthan state arrived in Dammam in February this year to work as masons, carpenters and steel fixers. A company named Syed Enterprises hired them in Mumbai, they said.
They turned up at the International Indian School in Dammam on Thursday to lodge complaints about their employers. They said they have not been paid, denied food and hired out to various construction companies for long working hours.
Madan Lal, a worker who was seriously ill and could not stand, was taken by his colleagues to Indian community workers on Thursday. Lal was admitted to a private hospital in the city where he is being treated.
Another worker, Rakesh, has a fractured hand and said he has not received proper medical care. He claimed his captor is demanding SR 20,000 to send him back to India. The workers said their captor threatens them constantly, but was not their legal sponsor and could not be held responsible for them.
They said their SIM cards were taken from them, and they have been locked in their accommodation.
The other group of 20 workers, also from Rajasthan, said they arrived in April to work for a construction company in Dammam through Mumbai-based Fahad Enterprises, but ended up with a Bangladeshi labor supplier at a work site in Khursaniya, 160 km from Dammam.
They claimed they were not given any food by their Bangladeshi managers, but were later fed by a subcontractor for whom they are now working.
Arab News reported earlier this month that 200 workers had been conned in a similar manner in Dammam. They were promised jobs at a plastic-producing company but were later hired out as cleaners. These workers are still waiting for their ordeal to end.
According to Indian officials, this group consists of less than 200 workers and their case has been taken up with the Saudi authorities. The Indian recruitment agent concerned has been given a serious warning by the Indian authorities and is in the Kingdom to sort out the problem.
However, some of these workers say that their Bangladeshi managers have victimized three Indian workers for complaining about conditions, and are holding them against their will. These workers are being sent home to India. This group of workers had paid between SR 5,938 and SR 9,895 to the Mumbai-based labor agent, Fahad Enterprises, to work in the Kingdom.