53 Thai laborers have taken refuge at the Thai embassy in Qatar after striking to protest alleged violations of their work contracts by local employers, reported The Peninsula newspaper of Doha this morning.
By coincidence, the workers fled into the embassy on Sept 19, the day the military ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawtra in a bloodless coup.
Karoon Lirdluckanawong, First Secretary at the Thai Embassy, told the newspaper the workers quit their jobs and sought the mission's help after the construction company denied them salaries, food and accommodation.
"We have been providing them food and shelter since then. Talks with the construction company and the labor department are going on,” Karoon told the newspaper.
“Even the basic facilities like food and accommodation and medical care were denied to them. The main grievances of the workers are non-payment of salaries and extra working hours with no overtime payments,” he added.
Under their contract, the workers were entitled to a monthly salary of 1,000 Qatari Rial (10,300 baht) and an additional QR100 to QR 200. However, the company has not paid either salary or overtime for the last two months.
A Bangkok-based recruitment company arranged visas for the workers, who said they paid huge sums to get their visas.
“We held several rounds of discussions with the construction company," Mr Karoon told The Peninsula. "However, the company officials are making strange excuses. They say they are cash-strapped,", he said.
Now, the disillusioned labourers have sought the embassy's help to return to Thailand. After pressure was put on the recruiting company, it agreed to arrange return tickets for the workers -- but gave no date.
Karoon said the mission will ask Bangkok to blacklist such erring recruiting agencies.
Source: Bangkok Post, September
Qatarsucks.com comments: To the Thai people....please DO NOT send your sons and daughters to Qatar. This is a place where Thai culture and Thai people are not respected at all. Your peaceful religion is laughed at and mocked in Qatar. Please stay in beautiful Thailand.