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Sponsors hold on workers tightened - ‘Recipe for disaster’

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 8: The head of foreign workers bureau at the Public Union of Laborers in Kuwait Abdulrahman Al- Ghanim has criticized the document which has been issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor regarding transfer of work permit calling it an ‘ownership deed granted to sponsors’ at the same time warning continuity of such practices will lead to a catastrophe, reports Al-Seyassah daily. In a press statement, Al- Ghanim said, “The sponsorship system still continues in Kuwait and with it increases the sufferings of foreign workers because they are oppressed by their sponsors in spite of the fact that the law No 6/2010 was endorsed to abolish the sponsorship system in Kuwait.”

He added, “Unfortunately, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor is still looking at labor issues with one eye closed, the eye of the employer, when it comes to individual labor disputes.” A testimony of this is the latest document issued by the Director of Labor Relations at the Ministry, which has been endorsed by the Assistant Undersecretary for Labor Affairs. He explained, in item two of the document, it rules that, the Ministry will not approve any application related to transfer of work permits for people who are covered by government contracts, and if the applicants fulfill the requirements set by the law, they should go to the concerned government projects and contracts department.

In item three of the document, Al-Ghanim pointed out the Ministry will not approve applications submitted by workers registered in companies whose files have been closed until the employers go to the department that has closed their files and sort out issues. “Why would the Ministry refuse to look into transfer applications of laborers registered in government projects particularly of those who have fulfilled the requirement?’’ Al-Ghanim inquired. He also questioned the rationality behind refusing transfer of work permits of workers whose company files are closed.

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