Foreign workers stage Qatar’s first-ever strike
DOHA: About 600 foreign construction workers have gone on strike in Qatar’s first official labour dispute since the Gulf state amended its labour laws last year.
The labourers - mainly from India, Pakistan and Nepal - stopped working four days ago in protest of their salary and living conditions, embassy and company officials said on Sunday. In 2004, Qatar became the third country in the region behind Kuwait and Bahrain to allow workers the right to strike and form trade unions.
“We’ve been asked to intervene and help mediate,” one embassy official said, declining to be identified. Four private Qatari companies and one United Arab Emirates-based firm are involved in the dispute. An official from Al-Ajaj Engineering Company, one of the firms involved in the strike, said he expected the issue to be resolved this week. One of the workers, 36-year-old Pakistani electrician Abdul Aziz, said he had been promised a salary of 1000 riyals (US$274.9) per month, but was receiving only 600 riyals. reuters