12 homeless Indian workers sleep in Dubai park

Men have been waging 2-month battle to claim dues after winning favourable judgement from labour court

The 12 Indian workers, who were stranded after their boss absconded to India without paying their salary for nine months, are now out on the streets.

And this, when the men have been handed over a favourable judgement by the labour court.

They were forced to spend the night at a park, near the Satwa bus stand, after the sponsor of  their company did not renew the rent for their current one-bedroom accommodation in Satwa.

The men had been holed up there after they decided to fight for their dues in the labour court.

Earlier this week, the labour court had passed a judgement in their favour, stating that the owner of Ortronics, Roydin Roach, is obliged to pay the workers amounts ranging between Dh18,000 and Dh 32,000, depending on each worker’s duration of service and title.

The amount also includes their return air fare.

The accused will also have to pay the workers legal benefits, court fees and expenses, and provide them with a letter of reference.

The men were initially unable to decipher what the judgement read as it was written in Arabic and had approached 'Emirates24|7' office for translation.

However, despite spending a night on the streets, the men were in good spirits. “We have seen many hardships in our lives, so this is not new. Yes, it is hard to live like this, but we just want our dues back and then we will go home,” says Anil, a worker.

“At least, all our troubles have come to an end.”

The men had earlier approached their company to help them with the rent, but despite numerous promises no payment was made. They are being served food by local well-wishers, but there have been days when the men had to go on without any meal.

Three of the 15 workers, who are fighting for their nine-month dues, have since given up the fight and cancelled their visa. One has flown back to India, and the other two have just secured their tickets.

The workers, who have been employed by Ortronics that undertakes sub-contracts to lay down cables, have been entangled in a legal battle with their employer since March 26, this year.  Ortronics had not paid the men, 12 Indians and 3 Bangladeshis, since September, 2011.

“Of the three, the worker with the Sharjah visa was given Dh3,000 from the sponsor. He has gone back to India,” added Anil.

Roydin whose return has been delayed in India after he apparently suffered a stroke. He was not present in the court while the judgement was handed out to the workers.

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