Last week 37 Filipino workers in Qatar finally got their up to 6-months delayed wages paid out by their employer – the international engineering company Mercury Engineering Qatar. The workers had not been paid their salaries for 1-6 months and the company owed the workers a total of 1.1 Million Qatari Riyals (302 197 USD) in back salaries and end-of-service benefits.
“It is good news that the company finally took responsibility so that the workers will be paid for their work. Wage theft puts workers and their families in an extremely difficult situation and it should never be tolerated, neither in Qatar nor anywhere else,” said Ambet Yuson, general secretary of the BWI, who raised the issue with the Qatari Ministry of Labour when he met with him last September in Doha after he had been informed about it from the Labour attaché at the embassy of the Philippines.
After a month of failed negotiations with the company the Philippine Embassy in Qatar in September reported the case to the Qatari Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. After a series of deliberations on the case, the company agreed to pay all workers their wages and benefits.
David Dicang, labour attaché at the Embassy of the Philippines in Qatar, describes the case as a major breakthrough as it is the very first time workers’ raising complaints got officially endorsed to the Ministry.