Nearly 400 migrant workers, including Filipinos, have won a labor dispute against a company for failing to pay their wages for more than five months.
According to the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), the Al Wasita Emirates Catering Services owed its 400 workers three million dirhams (US$816,882) in unpaid wages. The judicial department decided to liquidate the employer’s bank guarantee in order to settle the unpaid dues, Khaleej Times reported.
An ADJD spokesperson said that measures had already been undertaken to assist workers’ transfers to new employers and to provide travel tickets to those workers who want to return home.
The workers, from countries including India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Egypt, Nigeria and the Philippines, were hired as chefs, drivers, cleaners and maintenance staff. The workers complained that salaries went unpaid for months and that they went weeks without food after some of the company’s owners fled the country.
The workers added that they have been forced to eat food discarded from supermarkets and that the power and water supplies to their accommodation have been cut.
With the help of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, other concerns raised, including insufficient food allowance, residence issues and repatriation, were also addressed.