Monday, July 28, 2008

Striking Laborers - Modern Day Slave Trade

The cleaning guys contracted to work in our office haven’t been paid in 4 months, so they are out today striking. They get 20-24 KD a month. Trust – as in “Trust us not to pay our employees”. Dudes are working for 3-4 months without pay; then when the companies finally do pay them, they only give them 1 month's salary. OMG - I can't imagine how ballistic I would go!

That is so pathetic and disgusting. These cleaning company owners are just slave traders.

How can these workers survive? Has anyone noticed (duuuuh) that the price of food has gone up? The baladiya has been raiding street vendors selling food that is either expired or has been pilfered from grocery stores.

How much food is wasted by others? Damn people – if you don’t eat it at a restaurant (and I see SO many people leaving SO MUCH food on the table), have them package it up; if you see someone on the street digging in a trash bin, hand it to them. If I come back from lunch and I have half a sandwich left, our cleaning dudes are so happy to take it.

Giving to the poor shouldn’t just be during Ramadan. There are needy people all the time.

This is basic stuff: Food, shelter, water.

_________

During the riots on the night of the 27th, not one person was arrested. If you notice the photos in the papers, the police are shown either calmly talking to the workers, or standing back and observing. The order for the police to conduct themselves in this manner, an order must have come from the top. Unfortunately, riots on the 28th were met with teargas and batons, but still, photos show autorities taking a distanced stance. It appears from the stories that I have seen that workers were only arrested when things turned violent. This is a tremendous step forward for Kuwait with a previous "whack a mole" mentality towards peaceful demonstrations by workers.

I have talked to quite a few Kuwaiti friends about this and they all feel that inhumane treatment of workers in Kuwait is a black mark on the country's reputation. All feel that the government will do something. They should. Most of these guys even have to pay for their own visas and companies still retain their passports - which is illegal, but a lot of places still do. Slavery. If company employees must be paid through electronic funds at banks to ensure a transaction record, and monthly salary reporting must be completed to the MOSAL; then the same should be done for laborers. Banks hate this because they make no money from the transactions and it is more of an administrative headache to them than a benefit.

Better yet, change the labor law that hasn't been revised since 1964.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

DG,

'Giving to poor should be a regular practice'.
Agreed. So true indeed.
Way to go girl.
You got a big heart...
I think you should contest the next elections and secure a seat in the parliament.

Your well wisher.

3baid said...

They really need someone to speak out for them :/

m.halabi said...

haram that is so not fair :(

Jewaira said...

I'm glad the Bangladeshis protested and I hope this move will finally be the push to get some things changed in this country.

Baroon said...

it is outrages. last week ive noticed that none of the cleaning workers in our floor at the company are at work and when i asked i understood that they are in strike. i was totally shocked when i heard their salary is 20 KD.
When I put this news beside another news I read yesterday that a wealthy arab man spent 45,000 $ to ship his Lamborghini to London to change its oil .
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2477288/Sheikh-sends-luxury-Batman-car-to-London-and-back-for-oil-change.html


my head spin

abolesanzalef said...

Dear friends...
Its really a big problem with easy solutions..I cant believe that a person(not a person but say a human) is working for K.D 18 per month... How come to eat and drink...How come if he feels sick one day...Oh my God if he is smoking too.. that mean thay have to steal in order to live....How come that government leave those criminal of Eqamatt traders in a good and small country like Kuwait..
It is not strange for me too .. I came Kuwait her for K.D 1200 just for Iqamma then to search for a job.. and when i transfered my Iqamma to another company , he asked me for one month salary....Amazing people......STRIKE,,,Strife

Xsuils said...

sorry baroon but i know someone that pays 7.000$ to get his car waxed.

Anonymous said...

Slavery indeed...

Our messenger(bangladeshi) in the bank was a victim of this current situation in kuwait.

First of all he didn't joined any of those striking workers, one day he ride in the bus then suddenly the police arrested him and said you were part of the striking workers, after two days he was deported to his home country and cannot come back to kuwait because they put him in the blacklist.

It was really unfair. they deported him without proper investigation or due process, only because he is Bangladeshi.

Slavery as well as discrimanation should not exist in this 21st century.

Haram! walla...

Desert Girl said...

The Arab Times report today on the front page said that "Police rounded up and later deported around 1,000 of them" (striking workers).

Niiiiiice Kuwait. Way to go! Yes indeedy parliament - way strengthen Kuwait's reputation abroad. Let's just deport the ungrateful bastards.