22 back from Sudan with broken hearts
Twenty-two Bangladeshi workers yesterday returned home empty-handed from Sudan as a Bangladeshi manpower recruiting agency allegedly lured them into going abroad with high-paying jobs.
“Al-Purbasha Enterprise, the recruiting agency, took Tk 2.5 lakh from each of us on average with the promise of a monthly salary of Tk 32,000. But we each got only Tk 7,000 to 8,000 per month,” Anwar Hossain, a returnee, told The Daily Star.
The company management also didn't pay them for their overtime work and misbehaved with them when they protested, he alleged.
The returnees are among the 58 Bangladeshis, who were forced to work in a company owned by a Turkish national and supervised by the Sudanese, said Anwar, a resident of Brahmanbaria.
A flight of Air Arabia Airlines carrying the 22 workers landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 11:00am.
“We continued to do our jobs and received the low salary for four months after our migration. Then we requested the management to increase our salary and ensure other benefits. But they rejected our demands,” said Aminul Islam, another worker of Gazipur.
Al-Purbasha Enterprise sent the Bangladeshis to Sudan to work for the Turkish textile factory in January and February this year. As they were not getting their promised salary, the migrants asked the factory management to send them back home. In June, they also stopped working temporarily in protest.
Then the Sudanese management of the factory and the Bangladeshi agency threatened to hand them over to police if they didn't withdraw their strike, the returnees alleged.
“We started working following an assurance by the factory's Turkish owner of resolving our problem. But he didn't solve the problem, rather agreed to send us back home,” said Salah Uddin, another returnee.
After Eid-ul-Fitr, the Bangladeshis again stopped working and were waiting to complete the procedures of their repatriation.
The victims' families submitted a written complaint against the agency to the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) in June and demanded repatriation of their relatives.
The agency then requested the factory management to arrange the migrants' return home. Of the 58 Bangladeshis, 11 returned home following the agency's intervention that month, said Salah Uddin.
The returnees, however, blamed the agency for cheating them with the false promise of lucrative salary and demanded compensation.
This correspondent could not communicate with the recruitment agency concerned for its comment.