Special Correspondent

Centre writes a demi official letter to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa They were working in a hospitality company in the United Arab Emirates under difficult circumstances

CHENNAI: In all, 35 Indian workers from the State who were working in a hospitality company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under difficult circumstances had returned to the country, thanks to the intervention of the Indian Embassy.

The Union Minister of State for External Affairs, E. Ahamed, in a demi-official letter to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on December 20, said the Embassy in UAE had informed the Centre that the workers of the Hospitality Catering and Services Company, LLC in Al Ain, had approached them on September 12 regarding pending salary for over three months.

The issue was taken up with the management and the pending salaries were got released.

Subsequently, 39 workers from the same company met the Indian Ambassador on September 25 and pleaded for regularisation of their visas, labour card and health card as they had been working since 2003 without these documents, he said.

The Embassy immediately took up the issue with the management of the company, which informed that since the workers had been working illegally, there were heavy penalties involved.

As it was informed that the company was negotiating with the Ministry of Labour to reduce the penalty, the issue was taken up directly with the concerned Ministries.

"Following the intensive efforts put in by the Mission", the Ministry of Interior agreed to reduce the fine to Dhs.1800 per person and allow the employees to travel out of the country, Mr. Ahamed said.

While 35 workers had returned to India between November 1 and 26.

Of the remaining four workers, one preferred to withdraw the complaint, as he desired to continue working in the same company and three were undergoing the one-month sentence and were expected to be freed towards the end of this month, he said.

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