Labor Relations Authority orders payment of wages to 179 Bodufinolhu workers

Migrant workers in B. Bodufinolhu.

Labor Relations Authority (LRA) has ordered RIX Private Limited to settle all unpaid wages to 179 migrant workers at B. Bodufinolhu.

Some of the migrant workers in Bodufinolhu, an island leased to Seal Maldives Private Limited for development as a tourist resort, staged a violent strike over months of unpaid wages on July 3, during which they held local workers hostage and destroyed property.

LRA, in a letter to RIX on Thursday, said that the case is under investigation by the authority as a high priority case, and that two representatives from the authority travelled to Bodufinolhu on July 4 to discuss the issue of unpaid wages.

LRA said it found that all migrant workers in Bodufinolhu, expect for those registered to RIX and Bodufinolhu Hotel and Resort Private Limited, had been brought to Maldives under the name of different companies, and are undocumented.

The authority said that all migrant workers at Bodufinolhu at the time of the strike named their employer as RIX, that the legal representative for RIX has stated that they are all provided their wages by the company, and that documents exchanged between RIX and Seal also show the migrant workers are provided their wages by the company.

RIX is the contractor for the project in Bodufinolhu. LRA said that the contract between RIX and Seal establishes that RIX is responsible for recruiting workers for the project, paying their wages, and paying the fees due to the government on their behalf.

LRA has ordered RIX to settle all unpaid wages to the 179 workers by July 30, and share documents proving the payment of the wages with the authority.

The authority has warned that failure to settle the unpaid wages will be met with action under the Employment Act.