Earlier this year, a major issue that was lurking underneath one of the housing development projects in the Maldives arose when a local news media did an interview with the employees of one of the companies.
This interview and the harsh realities of the living conditions of the people employed by the company caught the attention of Maldivians in every corner as the inhumanity of how a lot of employers treat their employees was truly uncovered. Following this interview, many questions were raised by the public against the Indian construction company JMC, which was handed the project of developing flats in Hulhumale’ by the Maldivian Government.
The videos show the deteriorating health conditions of the workers who did not receive any medical care as they were forced to live in tiny spaces and forced to eat food that had no flavour or nutritious value and with a lot of the food gone bad. Following this JMC has come out and stated that these were over exaggerations of the conditions that the employees were living in.
And though such incidents are extremely shocking, with the large number of cases where foreign workers get mistreated in the Maldives, this case was also forgotten just as quickly as it caught the attention of many.
It appears now, however, that the condition of the workers has worsened since then as they have finally reached a breaking point with many coming out to retaliate against the horrendous conditions that they are being put in. This retaliation has been ongoing for two days, and according to a statement given by the employees to a local news media, they started this due to around 2,000 employees starving due to the food being completely stale and rotten, leaving them no food to eat while they’re being made to work long hours at a demanding job.
According to one of the workers, when they filed complaints to the supervisor regarding the inhumane conditions they are living in, they received nothing but threats of being sent back home if any more complaints were filed against the company.
While the local media outlet also reported that a Bangladeshi worker working for the same company has gone completely against the statements of the Indian workers regarding the overall quality of the food, even this worker agreed that the state of the vegetables that are sent to them is not good.
Regardless of who is right and wrong in this situation, this is not the first time that the employees of this company have come out about the horrible living conditions and food, meaning that it is one time too many and the Government should be looking into this matter.
It has become extremely common in the Maldives to neglect the lived realities of foreign workers who are suffering in horrible living conditions while they work day and night to build the apartments we live in and construct the roads we walk on, so why is it so hard for the Government to even take a few seconds to look into such allegations and make every single workplace in the Maldives safer?