Male, Maldives - Afcons Infrastructure Ltd., an Indian construction company currently engaged in multiple projects across the Maldives, has been embroiled in an escalating dispute after a worker on the Villimale' Bridge site tragically died while on the job.
The worker, whose name has been withheld, reportedly fell ill and had been pleading for medical attention for the past ten days before his demise. However, his appeals were allegedly ignored. The death occurred while the worker was still on duty at the Gulhifalhu construction site.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, fellow Afcons employees commenced a protest, displaying their outrage at the company's perceived negligence. The protestors discarded a makeshift medical post, fashioned from a container, into the sea and allegedly confronted several senior supervisors at the site.
The situation rapidly deteriorated to the extent that senior Afcons managers felt compelled to evacuate the site, leaving the area amidst an atmosphere of growing tension and resentment.
This protest is not the first instance of staff unrest within Afcons. The company, while operating in the Maldives, has repeatedly come under scrutiny due to reports of delayed salaries, inadequate living conditions, and poor working environments across their various project sites.
Notably, their employees at all three significant project locations - the Villimale' Bridge, housing units in Hulhumale, and a road project in Addu - have staged protests in the past expressing their dissatisfaction. In a rather disconcerting episode, some Afcons staff were seen pleading for food on the streets of Male.
Moreover, the Villimale' Bridge project has been lagging considerably behind the agreed deadline. Despite the delays, Afcons sought and received additional funds from the government to hasten the construction process.
The escalating situation has raised serious questions about Afcons' work ethics, employee management, and their commitment to completing the projects on schedule. As it stands, the Maldivian government, Afcons, and the affected workers must engage in immediate dialogue to address and resolve the ongoing issues.