A group of seven Pakistanis allegedly left high and dry in the UAE by their employer, have been sent back home with the help of the Labour Court, Pakistan Consulate and community in Dubai.
An official at the Pakistan Consulate said the seven men were in the country for more than a year after their company allegedly cancelled their visas without informing them and without paying their dues.
Aged between 20 and 27, the young men came to the UAE to work for a construction company without signing a proper agreement. They just had a verbal agreement about salaries.
Until their case with the Labour Court was resolved, they did odd jobs, according to an official at the consulate, who said the Pakistani Consulate in Dubai ultimately came to their rescue by arranging and funding their return.
Haroon Malik, Community Welfare and Labour Attaché at Pakistan Consulate in Dubai, said the root of the problem was that the workers didn't have a signed paper contact.
"Each man paid Rs300,000 (Dh10,800) or more to recruitment agents on the promise that they would get Dh1,500 salary plus overtime. Hence they believed they would earn Dh2,000 (nearly Rs60,000) a month, and thus calculated that, within six months, they would recover the amount paid to agents. The workers should have demanded the written agreement of Dh1,500 salary so that it can be implementable," Malik said.
Malik said the Consulate contacted the employer who said that their passports were lost.
"It appeared that he (the employer) was not willing to return the passport. The Labour Court in Dubai issued verdict in favour of the employees and asked the employer to pay Dh2,500 as compensation. The court also ruled that the company should either pay them or arrange an alternate job.
Since the company arbitrarily cancelled their visas, they couldn't get another job as they were illegal," Malik said.
The Consulate then completed the formalities by issuing out passes and also corrected the workers' status in the immigration department.
After that, the community was mobilised to arrange air tickets and cash for them. They flew back to Pakistan on a private airline last week.
Malik advised young Pakistanis wishing to go overseas for employment to have documented contract "because verbal commitment is no commitment".
He also urged them to go through Pakistan government-approved overseas employment promoters in order to get job in the UAE or other countries.
"We have asked authorities concerned to investigate the matter and whoever is involved will face the law," Malik told ‘Emirates24l7’.