Following an investigation into the grievances submitted by 42 Bhutanese workers working in Qatar, it was found that the company in Qatar executed the work as per the contract agreement signed between the company and the Bhutanese workers.

The complaint against the Yarphel Overseas Recruitment Agent (YORA) was submitted to the labour ministry through Facebook in August. The candidates were sent by the agent to work with Shaqab Abele Catering Service in Qatar, which the agent said was a five star hotel. However, the reality turned out to be different.

The ministry had then asked the agent to provide justifications and to resolve the issues. A monitoring team from the ministry was also in Qatar to study the ground realities and to investigate the issue.

“The youth wrote that they were informed they would have to work only for 8 hours. Instead, they work for 12 hours and it was not a five star hotel they had to work in,” labour ministry official told Kuensel earlier. “The youth also complained that the agent had informed apart from salary they would receive tips, but they do not get tips.”

The candidates were told that they would get salary of 1,100 Qatari Riyal and will receive enough tips to meet daily expenses. But then they got only 700 Qatari Riyal.

According to the monitoring report shared by the team, only four of the 42 Bhutanese workers were found to be not happy with their work and the company. “They wanted to resign from the company. However, the company has not allowed them to resign on the contract duration obligation,” the report stated.

These youth left for Qatar in May with contract agreement of two years.

In the written explanation to the labour ministry, YORA refuted the allegations made by the candidates. It said that the candidates were clearly informed that they would be working at Shaqab Abela Catering Services and not at a five star hotel.

However, an official said that a team from Overseas Employment Unit that will go to Middle East for monitoring from October 3 to 21 in Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar will meet the workers.

“The team will discuss with the management company in Qatar on the concerns raised by the workers,” an official said. “The team is already seeking appointment with the company and the team will further verify.”

The report stated that if the workers are not satisfied with their jobs then the Ministry will facilitate them find a job in other Gulf countries or bring them back to Bhutan.

One of the candidates said that they are waiting for a response from the ministry and the findings of the investigation. “But we’re definitely not mistreated by our employer.”

Yangchen C Rinzin