Slavery entrenched by law: Depriving migrant workers of their wages in the Gulf
Siddiq Shehab arrived in the Gulf from his native Mangalore in South India in 1982, carrying an almost empty suitcase. Siddiq left everything behind and travelled to the Gulf to work for one of the largest contracting companies to save money for his wedding.
Two years later, Siddiq got married and returned to the Gulf, where he stayed for 39 more years. He only saw his family for a couple of months once every two years, as he had to remain in the Gulf for work, while all his earnings went to support his family.
Siddiq, an electrical supervisor, never thought he would return home empty- handed after not receiving his salary for 18 consecutive months. Without a choice, Siddiq left the Gulf for good in March 2021, with the contracting company owing him $48,900 in salary arrears and end-of-service benefits, burying his dream of securing a dignified life after retirement.