Friday 5 March 2010
Chinese workers, police clash in Bahrain labor camp
By ARAB NEWS
Published : Feb 27, 2010 9:28 PM Updated : Feb 27, 2010 9:28 PM
MANAMA : Security forces clashed with a group of Chinese workers who had taken hostage at least nine of their superiors near a construction site in Zallaq, 25 km south of the capital Manama, Saturday morning.
Police stormed the barricaded worker-housing compound after a siege that lasted several hours, freeing the nine men and arresting 26 workers of the approximately 150 residing in the camp.
The operation occurred after negotiations led by the Ministry of Interior and a Chinese diplomat failed to persuade the Chinese workers to release the hostages, who included architects and foremen at the job site, ministry officials said.
The officials, who requested anonymity, said the workers, employees of the state-owned China State Construction Engineering Corp (CSCEC), alleged that the nine men were mistreating and underpaying them.
The workers had demanded the nine men be sent back to China and be replaced.
Sources at the Interior Ministry confirmed that 28 workers were detained, while one of the hostages and four policemen sustained minor injuries during the clashes. They were later taken hospital.
The workers started a wildcat strike on Friday, but the issue was resolved after negotiations with the Ministry of Labor and the Chinese Embassy.
But the workers gathered again Saturday morning and took nine senior Chinese staff hostage to press their demands.
Founded in 1982, the CSEC is the largest construction enterprise, real estate developer and international contractor in China.
Posted by sysiphus at 13:51