The Ministry of Labour (MoL) has suspended transaction with two contracting arms of a major group for delay in the payment of wages to its workers, according to 'Emarat Al Youm'.
Employees of both companies – one a contracting firm and the other an industrial unit – had complained of delay of more than four months in receiving their salaries. They complained they were not able to pay rent or meet financial obligations or even pay for necessities of life.
Both companies attributed the delay in wages to payments pending from some government units. The firms said that they had paid the salaries for two months to the workers and the other two months’ wages will be paid soon.
The Ministry of Labour told Emarat Al Youm that no company is allowed to delay their workers’ wages under any circumstances.
The ministry confirmed it has suspended transactions with the two companies, and blocked their submissions for work permits and other permissions. It said it had also received a pledge from the companies to pay wages in arrears.
Workers in the two companies claimed that they were threatened by the management that they will lose their jobs in case the news was leaked to the media.
One of the workers said as he did not receive his salary for nearly four months, he was brought before the prosecution by banks for failing to pay premiums due.
He added that he had incurred fines due to the bounced cheques because of the lack of balance in the bank, in addition to failing to pay installments of housing rent.
An official of the industrial said the company is committed to pay the salaries of their labourers and employees and never deny them. “But the reality of the financial crisis, and the delays of some government facilities in the payment of contracts executed by the company led to such wage delay.
An official at the contracting arm disclosed that the company has already paid the salaries of two months in February, and it is on its way towards payment of the other two months wages.
The Ministry of Labour official said the ministry takes two actions against any facility which is in arrears to pay the wages of workers in a timely manner through the Wages Protection System (WPS).
The first is administrative action and the other is to refer the facility’s file to the prosecution in case the delay of remuneration is of more than two months.
The official said the MoL has taken the two actions against both firms. He added the suspension of transactions will be effective until thepayment of wages.
He added that before the second action could be taken, the two companies submitted on 8th April an explanatory letter about their status and the financial crisis experienced.
He added they pledged to the payment of wages in installments during the months of April and May. He as well pointed out that the MoL will not remove the ban against the companies unless they paid the delayed salaries and expressed their commitments to pay the salaries on time.