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Nepali workers deported from Qatar for daring to strike

On September 23, 2010

About 90 laborers working for a construction company were arrested by Qatari police and deported for striking against a company that violated an agreement with them, Nepal News reported today.

According to that report, the deported workers boycotted work after their company, Albadar, refused to increase their salary by 10% like it did each year as required by an agreement between the workers and the company. According to a previous report in e-Katnipur, the strike was over a decrease in the workers' salary from 1000 Qatari riyals ($275) to 650 riyals ($180) per month. The workers were kept in jail without food for days and later deported. To add insult to injury, laborers who worked less than two years for the company had to pay for their ticket back home.

Unlike most Gulf nations, Qatar's labor laws allow workers to strike, form workers' committees and conduct collective bargaining. These arrests and deportation aren't just a violation of basic human rights and an injustice - they're also a violation of Qatar's labor laws.