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Irregularities found in company records as Awqaf opens file after workers strike

Some of the foodstuff being sold by hawkers illegally

32 makeshift market hawkers, not customers to be deported

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 21: The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs is said to have opened the file of a cleaning company which has a contract with the mosques sector whose Bangladeshi employees went on strike and refused to work at the mosques and the Holy Quran and Islamic Studies site, as was disclosed by the Al-Rai daily on Jan 22, 2019, because they were not paid their salaries for two months, reports Al-Rai daily.

The official sources told the daily the ministry recently held a meeting with three of the company’s officials, one of whom did not have an official status, in which it decided not to pay the company’s bill for the months of November and December last but only after its commitment to what is required to modify its position towards its employees.

The Bangladeshi workers demonstrated in front of their embassy on Jan 21 of last month, in protest against non-payment of their salaries, since they landed in Kuwait six months ago. They claimed their very livelihood was cut and their most basic rights were violated.

They were hired to work on a 3-year contract of the Mosques Sector of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs – the contract believed to be worth about two and a half million dinars.

The sources pointed out during the meeting it was stressed that the company must take into account the importance of the rights of the laborers and not tarnish the image of Kuwait, by delaying the salary payment.

The meeting reviewed the subject of the contract with the company, the comments submitted by the supervising committee on cleaning and security contracts, as well as the validity of the fines imposed on the company for more than one reason.

It was reported that the company officials did not commit to improving its position. The company is still failing to comply with the provisions stipulated in the contract and did not pay attention to what was mentioned in these communications in the form of indifference.

The sources pointed out that the observations noted by the committee included 6 points: the company’s failure to pay the salaries of workers covered by the contract, the delay in the supply of cleaning materials in October and not to supply them in November, and the unavailability of labor stipulated in the contract regularly, and the lack of commitment of labor to attend the sites and the number of strikes due to late payment of salaries.

The sources pointed out that it was found through reviewing the company’s labor records that more than half of the statements were not signed by the workers, and the salary specified in the statements was 55 dinars, not 60 as agreed.

Company officials said the payroll number was wrong, and promised to amend it, stating that the workers had collected 60 dinars, not as indicated in the statements, and promised to complete the rest of the signatures in the lists for November and December.

32 for deportation: Lt Colonel Abdullah Al-Harbi and Captain Dabbous Al-Dabbous have submitted a report to the Assistant Undersecretary for Criminal Security Affairsat the Ministry of Interior Major-General Khalid Al-Dayen, with a request to deport 32 Arabs and Asians from the country for violating the labor law, reports Al-Anba daily.

The daily quoting the officials said the expatriates were caught  during surprise inspection checks at markets selling foodstuffs.

Most of the arrests were made in Fintas and the security authorities confirmed the arrests were genuine and that those arrested were people selling foodstuffs and not customers.

The Fintas Campaign comes within the framework of the Ministry’s keenness to pursue random markets and flush out hawkers and others who do illegal business.

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