Read How Qataris Show Appreciation to Nepali Asian Games Workers

About 350 Nepalese expatriates, including a number of women, are stranded in Qatar after their employers have vanished following the completion of their project.

Speaking to Gulf Times yesterday, an official of the Nepalese embassy said the stranded workers belonged to a company which had its labour accommodation and some other offices in the Industrial Area. The company’s main office in the Industrial Area was reportedly shifted sometime last month to the Vegetable Market area.

"However, no responsible company staff was found when embassy representative visited there," said the Nepalese official. The embassy official said that only some minor staff members were at what was said to be the company’s present office but they seemed to have absolutely no clue as to what had happened.

The workers, who included about 50 women, came to Qatar in July last year for a project said to be related to the 15th Asian Games, according to the embassy official. Permission for bringing the workers was granted to the company after embassy officials visited the labor accommodation, he said.

"At that time, everything was found in order," added the embassy official.

When its work was completed sometime before the Asian Games, the company had already owed the workers two months’ salary.

Since then the Nepalese embassy has been receiving workers in groups from the company virtually every other day. "Sometimes, workers in groups of 30 and 35 come to the embassy seeking our intervention," said the official.

The embassy forwarded the workers’ complaints to the labour office, he said. "Now the labour officials are in the process of locating the senior staff of the company," he said. Even its sponsor could not be located until now.

At the time of their recruitment, the workers were given a two-year employment contract. The workers have paid huge amounts to the recruiting agents in Nepal for the job.

"Because of this, most of them do not want any repatriation at this stage but a change in the sponsorship to continue in Qatar," said the embassy official. The labour officials have been informed of this, he said.

The company was also said to have employed at least another 300 workers. They included workers from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Regarding another issue involving workers of a garment factory, the embassy official said their long wait for change of sponsorship seemed to be over. The company officials have given an undertaking to give release to the workers’. The company is reportedly winding up its operations before the end of this month.

Earlier, the workers had complained of inhuman living conditions and ill-treatment by the employers.

Source: Gulf Times