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Firm denies confining 120 labourers in rice factory

The management of Popular Farms and Mills Ltd, on Sunday, described as false and misleading, allegations that 120 labourers were forcefully confined in the rice factory and prevented from going out of the premises.

The firm, in a statement issued by the Administrative Manager, Saka Kareem, explained that the Global Community for Human Rights Network that raised the alarm had met with the legal team and management of the company on June, 24, 2020, during which they confirmed that the report on the matter was incomplete.

It described the allegations as completely baseless and false, adding that such claim was being promoted by detractors of the company.

The firm noted that some of the labourers and staff stayed on the premises due to the encouragement by the company that had continued to provide healthcare facilities to the workers for the past 10 years.

In addition, the statement noted that there was a mutual agreement that workers, who desired to report for duties from their homes be allowed and none of the labourers should be laid off, arising from the prevailing conditions of work schedule.

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“All workers on the premises were provided with toiletries, feeding allowances and monthly appreciation bonus in addition to the contractual payments, as agreed. All company staff that were not able to come to work due to the pandemic or due to the adherence to COVID-19 guidelines were paid their due salaries while at home.

“The workers, who are alleged to have been rescued from the rice mill by the police, are currently working in the rice mill and pleading with the company to be allowed to still stay within the premises,” the statement read.

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