Mass absenteeism at foreign employment section provokes lockdown

Staff at the foreign employment section of the Ministry of Human Resources, which handles visa applications for migrant workers, have gone on strike.

Human Resources Minister Hassan Latheef told Minivan News today that he has not been able to identify a specific reason for the strike, which has “jammed” the service.

‘’Only this morning we learned that they were not coming out for work,” he explained. “Every day many people come for the services from the department and we had to transfer the staff of other departments to that section. People gathered near the gate of the ministry and were furious as they had to wait long.’’

He added that irate members of the public had locked the gate from the outside while all the staff were in the building.

“We reported to the police and they arrived and broke the lock,’’ Latheef said. ‘’And the department commenced providing services again.’’

The ministry is now trying to ascertain why the employees have gone on strike.

“I do not think that it is a coincidence that all the staff were absent on one day and none of them is responding to calls,’’ said Latheef.

Permanent Secretary for the Human Resources Ministry Mahid Shareef also said the reason for the mass absenteeism was yet to be clarified.

“They usually complain about the lack of staff there, but we do not know whether that is the reason they did not come for work today,’’ he said.