Govt suspends license of two Mumbai-based recruiting agencies

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New Delhi, Apr 18 (UNI) Concerned over the plight of Indian workers recruited by a maritime fabrication company in the US, the Indian Mission has approached the American government to conduct a detailed investigation into the matter and take remedial measures.

Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said the Indian Mission had also initiated steps to withhold visas from the main US recruiters involved to prevent them from entering India to resume their recruiting operations.

Mr Ravi also said his ministry had suspended the license of Dewan Consultants and S Mansur&Co., Mumbai and blacklisted the foreign employer.

''The ministry is also initiating legal action against the recruiting agent for violation of the Emigration Act, 1983,'' he added.

Quoting reports from the Indian Missions in the US, the minister said 590 Indian workers were recruited with Signal International, a marine fabrication company, in Mississippi and Texas.

They had gone to the US on H2B visas (guest workers visa programme) valid initially for 10 months, extendable at the discretion of the employer and the US authorities.

Mr Ravi said the workers were aggrieved on account of alleged poor accommodation and amenities, deductions from their salary for accommodation, food, electricity, water and alleged non-fulfilment of initial commitment of permanent residency status.

In March this year, the Indian workers demonstrated outside the office of their employer voicing their demands and also met Indian Ambassador Ronen Sen in this regard.

The demonstration, which was supported by US human rights bodies, had grabbed international headlines.

UNI/SKS RR RK1856

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