Job offer too late for Satwa 87?

‘White knight’ offer of employment may have come too late as half of the Indian construction workers are flown home

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By  Conrad Egbert Published  October 29, 2005

A ‘white knight’ contractor has come to the rescue of the ‘Satwa 87’ construction workers after reading about their plight in Construction Week. Dubai-based Nova Construction wants to offer the men jobs. But the offer may have come too late for half of the workers, who have already flown home to the southern Indian city of Chennai. The contractor has offered to come to the aid of the men after reading CW reports about their ordeal. The 87 labourers had been left to fend for themselves in a three-bedroom villa in the Dubai suburb of Satwa for the last six months, without being paid any wages. Their boss at contractor Arab Light Contracting finally agreed to pay them after a deal was brokered between the firm, the Ministry of Labour and the Indian Consulate. Now Nova Construction, which is part of the Darvesh Group of companies, has offered to give the men jobs. “We have been following reports in Construction Week and we would like to help these workers by employing them for some projects that we have coming up,” said Tony Nakhla, general manager, Nova Construction. Forty-two of the workers have already been paid and sent back to India after Indian Consulate and Dubai’s Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs intervened in the their case. But the remaining workers have decided to stay in Dubai and continue working in the construction industry. “It was their choice to stay back”, said their lawyer Sajid Aboobacker of Al Obaidli and Al Zarooni Advocates. “They decided against going back as they said they wanted to resume work. They are working with the same company and are looking forward to getting back to their normal regime.”

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