BWI unions reach out to stranded Indian migrants in Romania

In another example of working class solidarity and cooperation, BWI’s trade union affiliates in India and Romania joined hands in working with authorities to help Indian migrant workers, who were reportedly stranded in the European state. 

The workers, who hailed from India’s Tamil Nadu State, were stranded after their company, the Westmont Construction & Resources SRL, ran into financial difficulties and filed for bankruptcy. Romania’s COVID-19 lockdown also added to the workers’ food and shelter problem. While the company initially extended assistance, this eventually stopped, forcing the Indian Embassy to intervene. However, this, too, stopped in July, with the workers seeking the help of trade unions based in India. 

Immediately after hearing of the workers’ plight, the Thamizhaga Kattida Thozhilalargal Mathiya Sangam (TKTMS) in the Tamil Nadu State and BWI Indian Affiliates Council Chair (IAC) Dr. R.C. Khuntia submitted a representation to the Ministry of External Affairs and the Indian Embassy in Romania requesting the government’s intervention to help the workers with their food and shelter issues and facilitate their safe return under the “Vande Bharat Mission.” 

Additionally, BWI’s affiliate in Romania, FGS Familia, reached out to the workers to ensure their well-being and extended assistance. The union has also approached the Romanian Foundation, which committed to help the workers clear their dues. 

Khuntia, who is also BWI Asia Pacific Vice-Chair and INBCWWF President, lauded the efforts exerted by the various groups to extend assistance to the stranded workers. 

“We thank the Ministry of External Affairs, the Indian Embassy and the unions in India and Romania for coordinating and reaching out to the seven stranded Indian migrants amidst a pandemic. Cooperation between organisations in the countries of origin and destination is essential to protect and uphold the rights of migrant workers across geographical locations.”