Groom leaves wedding on boss's orders

A Saudi groom left his wedding after receiving a call from his manager asking him to come at once to the shock of hundreds of guests.

The man told his father and father-in-law that his manager asked him to come to work immediately for an urgent matter.

“They did not mind as they feared he might lose his job. So they asked him to go. He left the wedding as guests stared in amazement,” Alyoum Arabic language daily said in a report from the western Red Sea port of Jeddah. 

Airline Special: Live insects in meal

A hungry passenger who had a big bite of a cheese pie offered to him during a flight to Saudi Arabia got the shock of his life when 'live' insects jumped out of the pie and crawled away before his eyes.

The Saudi passenger said he was returning to the Gulf Kingdom from a holiday aboard a Saudia flight on Tuesday when he and the other passengers were served a light meal consisting of small cheese pies and a drink.

“It was wrapped in plastic and when I opened it and took a bite, live insects crawled out of the pie and ran away. I felt sick and vomited,” he said, quoted by the Saudi Arabic language daily Sabq.

“I told the stewardess about this and all that she said was that not to worry as she would give me another meal. I felt sick and so did the other passengers who were watching what happened. We urge the airlines management to open an investigation into this incident.”

Dubai Police work to exorcise ‘ghost’ traffic fines

Khaled Mazjub, a 43-year-old Jordanian living in Dubai, committed a traffic violation while he was asleep at home.

"I was fined for invalid parking at a parking lot where I had never been.

“According to the violation, I parked my car there at 4am. I was home at that time and sleeping," says Khaled.

Khaled is not the only person perplexed at receiving an impossible traffic fine.

“For a while, I was receiving traffic fines for using Salik roads without paying the Salik fee. Although I got my car in 2008, all these violations were made in 2007,” says SK, an Indian living in Dubai.

According to Dubai Police, these strange fines are possible, as mistakes do occur in the issuance of penalties.

As such, claims of alleged violators that the violation was not made by him or her sometimes prove to be correct.

“It sometimes occurs that we receive messages from people who claim that they did not commit the violation that they were fined for, and they turn out to be right; the fine was issued by mistake,” acknowledges Major General Mohammed Saif Al Zafeen, Director of General Traffic Department of Dubai Police.

According to Al Zafeen, a mistake may be made while registering the violation, or when the violation is entered into the system.

“Mistakes happen and they can be made in several ways. The police officer who registers the violation may incorrectly register the number plate, or any other features of the violating vehicle such as the kind of car, its colour, or the time and place of the violation.

“Or, the mistake is on the part of the officer who enters the violation into the system.

“Sometimes a mistake is repeated by certain officers. In that case the department organises work sessions for these officers, in order to reduce the number of mistakes,” tells Al Zafeen.

Dubai Police is willing to look into any violation and conclude that a mistake is made, whenever that is the case.

When the claim is correct and the person has not committed the violation, the fine will be waived off directly.

“After receiving a couple of fines on the car that I did not own by that time, I visited the head office,” says SK.

“It turned out that it was a rental car that had been involved in the violations, and my fines were waived off.”

Another resident of Dubai, who was fined for speeding in Abu Dhabi while he had never visited the emirate, is less satisfied with the procedure.

“Because the violation was made in Abu Dhabi, I have to visit the Abu Dhabi head office to have the fine waived off.

I live and work in Dubai, and I do not know when to do this, so the fine has remained on my name until now,” he tells.

“When a violation is reconsidered and it is assured that it was registered incorrectly, the offense will be transferred to the actual violator, after the correct data is confirmed,” says Al Zafeen.

Any person who is convinced that a traffic violation is wrongly registered on his name, or feels that there is a fault in the offense can request reconsideration of the offense at the Complaints and Suggestions Section of the Head Office of Dubai Police in the emirate where the violation was registered.

Jobless, no salary for months, sleeping in shifts

It has been nine months since 15 labourers were paid their wages.

Three months since they approached the labour court with their woes.

And, one month since their labourer accommodation was taken away.

The workers, who have been employed by a company that undertakes sub-contracts to lay down cables, have been entangled in a legal battle with their employers since March 26, this year.

The men, 12 Indians and 3 Bangladeshis, have not received any payment since September, 2011.

While many workers left the company, 15 of them decided to stay back with the hope of getting paid eventually.

Despite winning a favourable judgment from the court on May 23, ordering the company to pay amounts ranging between Dh23,000 to Dh35,000 based on each individual case, the owner appealed against it.

“A new hearing was scheduled for June 21 He approached the court with an offer of paying the basic salary instead,” elaborated worker Anil.

The court had then asked the labourers to come back on July 12 and inform if they were happy with the offer. “But the owner did not come for the hearing. He had already left for India,” he added.

“His brother-in-law, who runs the company in his absence, came instead, but the court insisted that the owner be present and a new hearing was scheduled for July 26.”

The workers had decided to approach the court in March after they felt the company wouldn’t pay up.

“How long could we have survived by borrowing money from friends,” asked labourer Edu Kondalu.

They had stopped going to work on April 10 after the company continually delayed their promise of paying up.

To add to their woes, the men were moved out of their earlier accommodation in Al Quoz after the company stopped paying the rent.

“For 12 days we had to survive without electricity, water or food. Then we called our sponsor, who offered to pay for this 1-bed accommodation in Satwa for a month,” informed Anil.

“The new accommodation is for only 10 people, so we take turns so that everyone gets a chance to sleep under a roof.”

However, they are worried about where they will go after the end of the month.

The brother-in-law, who runs the company in his absence, has told the workers that he is not responsible for the pay-back and has no access to the money.

With their passports not in their hands, the workers are now desperate to find a way out.

Edu, in fact, is suffering from an eye infection and wants to go back for treatment, but his visa has expired. “My passport is with the Dubai police as the owner had used it as surety for his friend.

He said he would give it back but it has been a year now,” he described.

The men haven’t approached the Indian Embassy, but have sought help from the Indian Workers Resource Centre (IWRC).

When Emirates 24|7 contacted the company office they stated that the owner has been delayed in returning to Dubai due to a medical emergency.

“He has suffered a stroke and has been hospitalised.

So, I don’t know when he will come back, and this has been communicated to the court,” added the official, requesting anonymity.

“He had gone there to organise for the pay-back.”

In fact, he claimed that the month-long, new accommodation for the workers was actually provided by the company and not the sponsor.

“We didn’t have money at the time, so the sponsor paid. Now, we have paid him back.”

He also blamed the workers for their delayed payment claiming it was their poor workmanship that created this vicious mess.

“In our field, everything depends on the clients. If they aren’t happy with the work, they will not pay. And, if they don’t pay then we can’t pay our workers.

“We don’t want the workers to suffer. If they work well they will get paid.”

The official even admitted to not receiving his salary for the last 10 months.

“I am not complaining because this is a personal choice. I will continue to work without pay.” Admitting there is a miscommunication between the company and the workers, he said.

“They don’t even want to talk to us now, although we are doing everything to help them.”

Despite staying open, the company has not undertaken any new assignment or workers. “There is no work going now,” he added.

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