65-year-old can’t afford medical care as ex-employer is yet to clear dues
A jobless Indian man in the capital is battling renal failure but can’t afford medical care as his former employer is yet to release his end of service benefits despite a court order.
Keralite Mohammad Ali Tharimoopantagath, 65, who worked with an Abu Dhabi-based contracting company as a purchasing representative, was made redundant in July 2016 after 18 years of service.
The company promised to cancel his visa and settle his dues, including 10 months of outstanding salary within a fortnight.
But when the dues remained pending for much longer, Ali filed a complaint with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) which transferred the case to the Abu Dhabi Labour Court.
In May 2017, the court ruled in favour of Ali and ordered the company pay him Dh107,807. Following an appeal, the amount was raised to Dh113,262 by the Abu Dhabi Enforcement Court.
However, the relief was short-lived. Two years on, Ali is still waiting for his money even as his health continues to deteriorate.
“I undergo dialysis thrice a week. Thankfully, the Seha Dialysis Service at Abu Dhabi’s Mafraq Hospital provides me free dialysis but there are other expenses that I can’t afford,” Ali told Gulf News last week.
“Costs aside, there are additional problems. For instance, my visa and insurance have expired which means no hospital can attend to me unless there’s a medical emergency,” he said.
“I toiled in this company for 18 years. I couldn’t have possibly gone back without taking what’s rightfully due to me. So I stayed back. Now I am stuck,” said Ali who lives in Abu Dhabi with his son.
Ali’s son Fayez, 21, wanted to become a doctor but was forced to cut short his studies and take up a Dh3,500 job in Abu Dhabi to keep the kitchen fire burning. “There was a crisis in the family. I had no choice. I thought it was a temporary situation and things would ease once Abbu (father) was paid. I was wrong,” he said.
“Now Abbu can’t go back even if he wants to and neither can I as I have pledged my passport to our landlord as we owe him Dh40,000 in unpaid rent,” he added
The general manager of the contracting firm said they were aware of Ali’s plight but were unable to clear his dues because of crippling financial constraints.
“The company has no money. Our payments are stuck. We are not denying the court verdict. We will pay Ali as soon as we get some funds but I don’t know when that would happen. Meanwhile, I have spoken to his son to see if we can pay the money in instalments,” he said.
On Saturday, Ali was rushed to the hospital after his condition suddenly worsened.
“This is the third instance in less than a month that I had to admit my father in an emergency. The company wants to pay us over a period of time but time is what my father doesn’t have much left.”