Against the backdrop of fresh labour unrest in Kuwait, authorities have started negotiations in Dhaka and Kuwait to resolve the problem and get the agitating workers back to job, officials said.
Media reports said that the police resorted to baton charge and used water cannon on Monday to disperse several hundred workers, including Bangladeshis, who took to the street in the Kuwait City demanding a living wage.
The oil-rich Middle Eastern state is home to more than 1.5 lakh Bangladeshi workers and many of them complain about poor pays that make their life difficult and leave them with nothing to send home.
Authorities in Dhaka have called upon the workers to return to work as Kuwait officials promised steps to resolve the wage related problems within two weeks.
Foreign affairs adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, after a meeting with Kuwait’s ambassador Abdullatif Ali Al-Mawash in Dhaka Monday, expressed optimism that Kuwait would take appropriate steps to resolve the crisis.
We have no doubt that all issues will be addressed successfully,’ the adviser told the media responding to questions about the woes of Bangladeshi workers in Kuwait.
They elaborately discussed Bangladeshi workers’ demand for higher wages in Kuwait, an official release said. The adviser thanked the Kuwait government for the steps so far taken in this regard.
Several hundreds Bangladeshi workers went on a fresh strike on Saturday demanding higher pay and due rights.
To resolve the matter Kuwaiti authorities held series of talks with officials of Bangladesh mission in Kuwait City. Both the sides hoped that the problem would be addressed as early as possible.
Ministry sources said Iftekhar, who is also in charge of expatriate’s welfare and overseas employment ministry, might visit Kuwait next month to see the conditions of Bangladeshi workers there.
Meanwhile, acting foreign secretary AKM Mahmud called upon Bangladeshi workers to return to work stating that the government was trying hard to resolve the problem through diplomatic channels.
They [Kuwaiti authorities] gave assurance that the issue of workers’ wages will be solved within two weeks,’ he said in a statement.
The senior diplomat feared that prolonged work abstention could lead to any unwanted situation that would tarnish the reputation of Bangladesh’s workforce abroad.
All should be respectable of the law of the country they stay in,’ he said, warning that workers would be responsible if the authorities there took action for violation of law and order.