Sunday, June 12, 2005

Unpaid worker sleeps at bus station

By Samir Salama,
Bureau Chief Ahmed Kutty
Gulf News
Published: 11/6/2005, 08:40 (UAE)

Abu Dhabi: Desperate and penniless, an unpaid worker ended up sleeping on a bus terminal bench.

With no money left to travel between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Enrique Milagrosa resorted to such measures while in the process of presenting a complaint to the Dubai labour office.Enrique Milagrosa and Eleuterio Mercado complain about non-payment of salaries. "I had to submit my complaint to the Dubai labour office because my visa is obtained from Dubai.

I was turned away eight times by the Labour Relations Department in Dubai," Milagrosa, a Flipino steel fabricator, said.He said although he told officials at the Labour Relations office that he had run out of money and could no longer afford travelling between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, they kept telling him to return the next day."I was left with no option but to sleep on a bench at Bur Dubai bus terminal for three nights," Milagrosa, 41, said.Determined to present his case, he said he joined his Abu Dhabi-based construction company on February 1.

"I was offered in the Philippines a monthly salary of $450 or about Dh1,640. But as I arrived in the UAE, I was asked to sign a job contract which states that my salary is just Dh1,000. I refused to sign the contract and the company has not paid me ever since.

"Eleuterio Mercado, 51, an excavator operator in the same company, says he was turned away three times by the Abu Dhabi labour office, before his complaint was accepted on June 7.Mercado's employer will be summoned to the labour office on June 13.

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