Bangladeshi workers return to work in Kuwait
Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Assurance of pay hikes

Staff Correspondent

About 12,000 agitating Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait returned to work after their employers assured of pay hikes, the acting foreign secretary said Tuesday

The rest of the agitating workers, small in number, will return to work by Wednesday, acting foreign secretary MAK Mahmood told

"According to a report received from our mission in Kuwait, 12,000 agitating Bangladeshis working in five companies returned to work Tuesday," said Mahmood.

He said the Kuwaiti companies had assured the workers of increasing their wages in three weeks.

Earlier, expatriates' welfare and overseas employment secretary Abdul Matin Chowdhury told that the Kuwaiti authorities had dispersed Bangladeshi workers.

But he declined to say how many Bangladeshi workers were arrested or injured in the police action.

The Bangladeshi workers, mainly involved in odd jobs, observed a strike for four days demanding pay hikes and better working conditions.

Foreign affairs adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury Monday invited the Kuwaiti ambassador in Dhaka to his office at the foreign ministry and discussed the Bangladeshi workers' problems and agitation in Kuwait.

The ambassador assured him of all possible help to resolve the crisis and invited the adviser to visit Kuwait at a convenient time, Iftekhar told after the meeting.

The foreign ministry Monday issued a statement urging the workers to go back to work. The statement called upon the workers to obey the Kuwaiti laws.

The Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait went on strike as their employers paid them, in some cases, only Kuwaiti Dinar 8 ($30 or Tk 2,000) per month.

The workers told reporters in Kuwait that they were living under unhygienic and inhuman conditions in the Gulf state.

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