In a moving statement to the newspaper Echorouk, Algerian Meriem Mehdi, recounts her mishap with the "British Gas" Company from which she has recently been sacked together with scores of her other Algerian colleagues despite her meritorious work and her steadfast commitment to duty within this British firm based in the South of Algeria.
Meriem Mehdi on hunger strike
In order to alert the public opinion about her fate and that of her numerous colleagues who lost their job unjustly, Meriem Mehdi has undertaken a hunger strike for about a month now to denounce the horrendous practices of certain Algeria-based foreign companies which hold a Sword of Damocles on the heads of their unfortunate Algerian workers.
Meriem Mehdi who is now in a precarious health condition on account of her protracted hunger strike, hails from the eastern province of Tizi Ouzou. She is 41 years old and is a widow without any children.
She has to her credit a 20 year long professional experience garnered in several national and foreign enterprises based in Algeria.
She was in charge of the department of human resources, operations and recruitment of "British Gas" with an indefinite duration contract and was always lauded by the company's management for her remarkable daily work.
However, Meriem Mehdi who holds several university degrees was abruptly dismissed for no warranted reason by this British firm together with a number of her hapless Algerian colleagues in total defiance of the labour legislation and with no financial compensation.
She told Echorouk that she was confident that her unwarranted dismissal from "British Gas" was linked to the fact that she had decided recently to wear the Hidjab, a thing which was not obviously to the liking of her employers, she said.
A trade Union representative Yacine Zaid strongly denounced such blameworthy practices and revealed that several foreign companies operating in Southern Algeria including "Western Gico", "Compass Group", "Bischter" and "British Gas" had of late sacked about 2.000 Algerian workers in blatant violation of international labour regulations and conventions.
"British Gas" has woefully decided to adopt up to now a "no comment" posture regarding Meriem Mehdi's bona-fide claims.
Original article published on Jan.4, 2009
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