KATHMANDU, Sept 16: Sixteen Nepali migrant workers are running out of food stock in Saudi Arabia after the company they were working for stopped providing them salary. They ran into trouble after an altercation with the manager of the company, who is an Egyptian national.
The migrant workers were initially taken into police custody for a week on the charge of allegedly attacking the manager. After their release, the employer stopped giving them salary.
“We are running out of money but the company has not given us salary since one month. Instead, the employer has warned of killing us if we raise the salary issue,” Nar Bahadur Budha, one of the migrant workers, told the Republica over phone on Friday.
“There will be no food in a couple of days,” he added.
Like Budha, 15 other workers are also running out of money. The migrant workers said they are helpless as their passports and legal documents are with the company.
Jaddaha, the company where the workers from Jajarkot, Rukum and some other districts have been working for, has not fired them though.
“We are really in a big trouble as we lack money to purchase food and the employer has been issuing threats to us.”
Budha informed Republica that the Egyptian manager had physically assaulted them for not working properly. A clash ensued after the Nepali migrant workers also engaged in retaliation. Following the clash, the migrant workers were taken into police custody.
“We have been released but it is still not certain when we will get our salary. We have been unable to buy food,” Budha further said.
The migrant workers were sent to Saudi Arabia by Maharajgunj-based Siddhartha Gautam Overseas Service Pvt Ltd.
“I urge the government to intervene in our case. I also urge the people not to choose Siddhartha Gautam Overseas to go aboard,” said Budha.
The terrified migrant workers have urged the government to initiate diplomatic efforts to ensure their safety saying that their lives are under threat.