India conveys concerns over workers unrest to Angolan envoy


New Delhi : In the backdrop of over 1,100 Indian workers’ protest over pay-related issues in Angola, India Thursday called the southern African nation’s envoy to South Block, the seat of the external affairs ministry, to “sensitise” him on its concerns.

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Angolan Ambassador to India Manuel Eduardo Dos Santos Silva met India’s external affairs ministry’s Secretary (West) Madhusudan Ganapathi when the government reinforced the issues relating to the Indian workers’ plight, officials said here.

Indian embassy officials in Angola are already in touch with government there and local officials to get the issue resolved amicably.

The Indian government is “acting on all fronts” to resolve a crisis faced by its workers at a cement factory in the African country and was ready to assist some of them who intend to return home, an official had said Wednesday.

The Indian workers are employed in a cement factory in Angola and there has been a labour unrest at the factory due to non-payment of certain emoluments to them.

The $860 million cement factory project employs about 1,260 workers for construction work at Sumbe in Angola and the 1,100 Indians among them were recruited by Dubai-based ETA Star.

The issue has been raised with the external affairs ministry by at least two state chief ministers – Gujarat’s Narendra Modi and Andhra Pradesh’s Kiran Kumar Reddy.

The issue has been festering since February this year, but it took a turn for the worse earlier this month when the Indian workers “became very restive” and clashed with the company officials.

This led to local police charging 59 Indians under several offences and initiating prosecution.