‘Protesting laborers to face deportation’ ‘Minimum wage is KD 60’

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 14: The Director of Labor Relations Department at Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor Hadi Al-Enezi announced that the ministry will cancel the residence permits of all protesting laborers and deport them if they continue to violate public order through sit-ins, reports Al-Seyassah daily.

He made this announcement during a press conference in response to recent sit-ins and demands for salary increments by laborers. However, such an announcement is an explicit violation of local and international labor agreements of which Kuwait is a signatory.

Al-Enezi said the labor law stipulates that the minimum wage of laborers is KD 60 according to the law 200/2011, indicating that the contracts signed by the laborer is based on consent by both employer and laborer and the employer reserves the right to increase the salary, which should not be less than KD 60.
He explained that the laborer has the right to transfer to another employer if his demands for salary increment are not met, adding that the embassies of the laborers commended the system of Kuwait that protects the rights of the expatriate laborers in the country.

Al-Enezi stressed no violations of the laborers’ rights have been committed and the ministry always strives to ensure the laborers are guaranteed their full rights based on the labor laws in the private sector.

Meanwhile, Head of Foreign Laborer Office affiliated to Kuwait’s General Labor Union Abdulrahman Al-Ghanim expressed his disappointment over the statement issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor.

He pointed out that the right to conduct sit-ins is guaranteed according to the agreements of the international labor laws of which Kuwait is a signatory, adding that the international labor organization obliged Kuwait to amend the labor laws of its private sector to conform to the international laws.

He also pointed out that the local law only indicates that the starting salary should be KD 60 without specifying the maximum rate.

Al-Ghanim bid the ministry to resolve the grievances of the expatriate laborers who are unable to meet the increasing cost of living with merely KD 60 per month, affirming that the law has given everyone the right to conduct sit-ins without any bias based on nationality.

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