5 May 2018, Sat, 2:38

Bangladeshi workers returning from Qatar empty handed

Frequently losing jobs in Qatar Bangladeshi workers are forced to return home before expiry of contacts empty handed. Most of them did not get their wages for months together. 

Over 100 Bangladeshi workers who came back in the last week empty handed narrated to New Age their plights in Qatar after losing jobs before expiry of contracts. 

At least 70 Bangladeshi workers who were recruited by a Doha based cleaning company, have been leading inhuman life for over six months since losing their jobs, according to BRAC Migration Programme.

Shariful Hasan chief of BRAC Migration Programme in a letter requested the Wage Earners Welfare Board to resolve the problems Bangladeshi workers were facing in Qatar.

When asked, Bangladesh embassy’s labour counselor Sirajul Islam told New Age on Thursday that the issue had been taken up with the Doha based Khalij Swan Group, which had recruited the workers.

He said that the Khalij Swan Group agreed to pay the wages of the workers who were permitted to change their jobs.

The group also agreed to make the conditions flexible for the Bangladeshi workers that would allow them to change their jobs or return to their country more easily.

Siraj said Bangladeshi workers were generally facing no problems except for those working for small companies.

According to BMET records, Qatar recruited over seven lakh workers from Bangladesh since 1976.

Mohammad Zulfiar of Akkelpur, Jaipurhat, who recently returned home said that he sold his land and also borrowed from a bank to pay Tk four lakh to get cleaner’s job with Khalij Swan Group.

He said that he worked for the Khalij Swan Group for 17 months and got no wages for the last five months.

Since October 10, 2017, he said, he was not given the job of cleaning mosques as promised but was given the work of cleaning workers’ messes at wage less than he was to get according to the contract.

He said that his family had to send him money to support his stay in Qatar with poor wage.

He said that he also took money from his family to pay his return airfare.

Zulfiar alleged that the Bangladesh embassy officials did not help solve the problems he faced in Doha. He said that the Khalij Swan Group recruits workers only from Bangladesh.

Mahabub of Dhupchanchia, Bogra narrated a similar story on return from Doha.
Migrant rights campaigner and WARBE Development Foundation chairman Syed Saiful Haque said Qatar was a major destination for the Bangladeshi workers.

He said that Qatar’s lingering recession was causing the problems for the expatriate workers.
He said that the Bangladesh embassy in Doha should ‘help our workers’ in resolving the problems by taking up the issue with the authorities.

About 3.80 lakh Bangladeshi workers are currently employed in Qatar, said Bangladesh embassy officials.