Low-income workers who are hired by labour supply companies claim that they have not received their salaries for over four to five months. These men who get a minimal amount often struggle to buy food or even pay their monthly rent.
Albilad had reported the plight of these low incomes workers who were staying in old dilapidated buildings in Manana. Renowned social worker Shiju Venugopal described the building as he walked through each room were open electric were visible, wooden loose boards on the ceiling and the other side of the space had loads of garbage and plastic waste disposed.
Living condition seems to be just one side of the problem that these men face.
“The main problem that the workers were voicing out was about their salary. Companies that deal with labour supply services recruit these men for various jobs and do not pay their salaries for over three months. Many of them had spoken about this ever growing problem which affects their mental state of mind. This problem is faced by workers of many nationalities” said renowned social worker Shiju Venugopal.
“When I initially came here, I did not get a job and I found it very difficult. Later when I managed to get a job, they did not pay me my salary and it was hard. We have to pay for our room rent which is also high I feel. We don’t receive money equivalent to the work we do, so it’s very difficult everywhere, what can we do. We have so much tension” said a worker.
“These men face many problems that we can’t even imagine. I spend a whole day with them listening to their problems and conducting safety classes. One person told me that he would have to wait for even three days sometimes to get a job.” he added
“There are periods where he wouldn’t be placed anywhere by the company that would mean no salary and he would still have to pay for food and LMRA fees amongst the many. In addition to all this, they don’t have a good place to stay and find it difficult to pay rent,” he added.
“When they don’t pay salaries for over 4 months, they give a sum of BD 100 or BD 80 to these workers and tell them that they will pay later. But they don’t receive any payment. If you manage to speak with them, you will understand that they continue to live here because they have families back home whom they want to support. I saw a man lying down on a bench who cannot even afford to replace his old worn out sandal’ he added.
The plight of low-income workers have time and again been reported by various media in Bahrain. Authorities are also trying to safeguard the rights of workers and have taken seriously the issue of nonpayment of wages to employees.