Indian migrant workers in Gulf countries are returning home without months of salary owed to them -Rejimon Kuttappan

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published Published on Sep 19, 2020   modified Modified on Sep 21, 2020

-The Hindu

Wage theft — non-payment for overtime, denying workers their last pay check after he or she leaves a job, not paying for all of the hours worked, not paying minimum wages — is a trend that often goes unreported

Haneesh Kumar P.B., an Indian migrant supervisor in an automobile company in Oman, was told to resign on April 30, along with some 400 colleagues. In all, the company asked around 1,400 workers to resign in phases, citing as reason the COVID-19-induced economic crisis.

Haneesh, who was among the first to go, refused to sign the ‘voluntary’ resignation form and insisted on being terminated so that he could get the attendant benefits. As per his contract, if the company terminated him, it would have to give him either a 30-day notice period or a 30-day salary.

As the company couldn’t serve him the 30-day notice period, he was eligible to a month’s basic salary, around $570. But he was not only not paid this amount, he was forced to work until May 11, for which the company did not pay him either. Even more shocking, he didn’t get the $181 food allowance for the 35 days either, which he was assured of when he was terminated.

In all, Haneesh was denied $960 of dues by the company. In other words, he was a victim of wage theft, a trend that often goes unreported and unnoticed.

Wage theft is the non-payment for overtime; denying workers their last pay check after he or she leaves a job; not paying for all of the hours worked; not paying minimum wages; not paying a worker at all; and not adhering to the terms of the contract.

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The Hindu, 19 September, 2020,

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