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Two hundred Asian laborers working for a Qatar mega project have been left without water, food and electricity for more than a week, a group of expatriate volunteers said here yesterday.

Some workers are in poor health, the volunteers added.

Since last Wednesday the workers, comprising 195 Nepalese and 5 Bangladeshis, are relying on the generosity of expatriate residents to survive.

None of the local authorities, labor department officials, diplomats at the Nepali embassy or human rights officials has intervened or looked into the issue, the volunteers claimed.

Pitiful condition

"The workers are living in pitiful conditions. They have no water, food or electricity. Some are in very critical conditions and need medical care," a volunteer who asked not to be named, told Gulf News yesterday.

"Many of them also claim they have not been paid salaries for five or six months, and now they have been left even without the basic supplies to survive."

The laborers are living in a camp in Qatar's industrial area. They do not know the name of the companies they work for or their employers. They only know that their buses take them every day to the construction site of a mega project, a real estate development that is currently employing thousands of laborers.

The volunteers said a group of Asian and Western residents heard of the workers' plight and visited them during the past week and bought them water, food and medicines.

"It is a shame that no one is intervening to help these people," said a volunteer.

The ministry of labor, human rights organizations and missions could not be contacted yesterday, as all government offices and missions are closed due to Eid holidays.

The plight of Asian workers - ill treated and denied basic rights by their local employers - is a constant feature of Qatar's labor market and stories of neglect and abuse are regular in local dailies.

With 150,000 members, the Nepalese community is the second largest expatriate group in Qatar after Indians. Nepalese laborers are employed mainly in the construction and energy sector for wages as little as 500 Qatari riyal per month.

Source: Gulfnews

Comments

way of speaking of qatari officers

I am working as a secretary in a small company of qatar. I went for a work in one govermental office of qatar, there was some mistake in the document of mine then the officer who was on the desk used bad words on me, he said me 'ass'. The have so low quality morality that they do not know how to talk. I was so angry at the time but I could not do any thing that if I do some thing there is no body to help me. Here all the poeple of south asia afraid of their employer too much, and think that even a normal qatari can make his job lost from his employer, so all the people afraid.

CNA-Qatar

I disagree with these comments. I attended CNA-Qatar and it's a first rate institution!!!

CNA-QATAR

This article refers to employees - not students.

Life at Qatar CNA

Atmosphere in CNA's Qatar campuses described as 'poisoned'
College of North Atlantic workers decry conditions in survey
Last Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 | 2:04 PM NT
CBC News
Employees of the College of the North Atlantic working in Qatar have voiced serious concerns about working conditions and verbal harassment.

Workers for the Newfoundland and Labrador-based college, which has a contract with the oil-rich Persian Gulf nation to deliver education and training programs, have complained of a host of problems, ranging from fear of management to rock-bottom morale.

There are 525 CNA instructors working at this and another campus in Qatar, serving about 1,900 students.
(CBC) Results of a confidential internal survey conducted in May, a copy of which has been obtained by CBC News, points to an environment that officials have described as being toxic.

"The present academic organization in our department is quite simply chaos and confusion," an employee wrote. "The consensus is one of arbitrary decisions, lack of communication, cronyism, reprisals and intimidation."

The 525 instructors at CNA's campuses in Qatar were able to answer the survey anonymously. About 87 per cent of staff responded to the survey, and while some reported positive experiences in the workplace, many complained about management.

A number of employees complained of workplace harassment, with some citing examples of being belittled by managers.

Continue Article

"I have never in my life been among so many dedicated professionals who feel so threatened by administration," one employee wrote.

Kevin Baker, the college's vice-president in charge of the Qatar project, wrote in a March e-mail to the provincial Education Department that he had "never encountered such a poisoned, repressive environment in my entire career."

Dennis Brunt, who worked as a quality assurance manager for the project in Qatar for three years before deciding not to return this fall because of stress, said while harassment was not an issue for him, it was for employees who confided in him.

"They were telling me they were experiencing harassment, verbal abuse … they were getting harassed basically from management," Brunt told CBC News.

Baker told CBC News that problems identified in the survey are now being dealt with.

"I think that there was a fairly high level of anxiety and concern that employees were experiencing," he said.

Two consultants have been hired to deal with employee complaints. As well, a respectful workplace program is being put in place.

Another survey is planned for the spring, to determine whether new measures are working.

CNA delivers programs to about 1,900 students at two campuses in Qatar.