Dubai employers firing Indian migrant workers through texts

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New Delhi, Dec. 1 (ANI): As the economic crisis continues to worsen in Dubai, scores of Indian migrant workers who, have returned home to celebrate Eid, are being fired abruptly by text messages telling them their jobs no longer exist and that they should not return to the Gulf.

One such migrant worker Sajid Kumar, and many of his colleagues from Meerut were hit by the sudden wave of unemployment.

"It was early morning when I received a text from my office telling me I need not bother returning to Dubai. My contract has been discontinued and my work permit stands terminated. They said my dues will be sent through the post and my belongings will be duly returned," The Independent quoted Sajid, who had been working making tiles, as saying.

On Monday, it was revealed that Dubai World, the heavily indebted property arm that last week asked for extra time to pay back more than 60bn dollars, was not backed by the Emirate's government.

Indians are said to make up more than 40 per cent of the population of Dubai alone. Figures suggest that in 2007, Indians living in the Gulf sent a total of 27bn dollars to their families.

For Kerala, the money sent home is a considerable slice of the total economy - around 22 per cent of the state's income.

"Half of the workforce in the United Arab Emirates are Malayalis [people from Kerala] and it seems certain that the construction activity in Dubai is going to take a hit. The impact is that the Dubai real estate market will decelerate," Kerala's Finance Minister Thomas Isaac said.

However, Vayalar Ravi, the minister of overseas affairs, did not agree.

He said that based on his consultations with Indian consulates in the Gulf, authorities there believed that while the Dubai World crisis would have international implications, it was unlikely to lead to large job losses for migrant workers.

He added that regardless of the way the situation actually pans out, the government was planning to announce a comprehensive package to rehabilitate those Indian workers who return from the Gulf. (ANI)

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