International rights to be blamed for labour strikes in Gulf

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Dubai, Mar 28 (UNI) A leading Bahraini businessman has blamed International rights and political forces to be partially responsible for the recent strikes by expatriate labourers as they seek to settle them in the GCC states.

''The visible picture is that the labourers go on strike because they want to improve their living conditions and receive better wages but the undeclared reason is a drive to have the labourers eventually settle in the Gulf and integrate,'' Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) member Othman Shareef said.

Human rights organisations and governments are behind the drive to keep the labourers in the GCC and integrate them in the local societies, the Gulf News quoted him as saying.

Their embassies do not want them to return home for several reasons, including the importance of the remittances by the expatriate labourers for their national economies, he said, adding billions of dollars are sent home annually by mainly Asian migrant workers in the Gulf.

Recently, government officials and contractors in the Gulf had opposed the Indian authorities' attempt to impose a minimum wage for unskilled labourers and had threatened to hire workers from other countries for their massive construction projects.

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