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Thursday , December 3 2020

Over 250,000 expat workers have lost their jobs so far in Kuwait

Majority low-salaried workers

KUWAIT CITY, April 12: Marginal workers are like ticking bombs, which may explode any time, taking into consideration the rising number of those terminated from their jobs and the escalation of racist speech against them, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting governmental sources.

With the exacerbation of the corona crisis and the issuance of decisions to close many activities in the labor market; more than 250,000 workers were laid off.

Thousands are being terminated per day and most of them have very low salaries, which means they are below the poverty line and they need food assistance daily, sources pointed out.

Sources said this large number of workers will be added to 167,000 who violated the Residency Law and unemployed; hence, about half a million migrant workers have left the country over the last few months.

The corona crisis has cast heavy shadows and huge burdens on the national economy. It has become a candidate for further aggravation as the current stalemate is expected to continue until the end of the year, which will lead to the closure of hundreds of companies and termination of thousands of workers, sources asserted.

The crisis came with what the marginal labor and private sector does not wish to happen – the suspension of many commercial activities. Barbershops, women’s salons, clothing and retail shops, car garages and spare parts, cafés, entertainment services, personal services, wholesale trade, transport and storage have shut down.

A total of 14 commercial activities were seriously affected and this causes many pains. The weakest link in the crisis is marginal employment of all kinds. According to observers, more than 250,000 workers are threatened with lay off if the repercussions of the epidemic continue to worsen, business crashes and life activities are closed as it is currently happening; in addition to about half a million others who entered the spiral of unemployment as they are residing in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh and Mahboula which has been in complete isolation.

In the field, the marginal employment crisis has entered into other dimensions. Besides the security and legal prosecutions they suffered in the past due to working outside the scope of sponsors, a large number of these workers became unemployed when the corona crisis worsened.

How do they survive? How do they provide for the needs of their families? How do they proceed with life until the crisis ends? Many questions are difficult to answer, which increases the fears of a big number of those laid off from work. With the frequency of racist and hate speech against them, the situation may herald an explosion.

These major transformations put hundreds of thousands of marginal workers below the poverty line, which in turn portends a threat to the security of society.

The daily, which once opened the file of marginal employment, revealed new facts before and after corona, as hundreds of thousands of expatriates are victims of visa traders. The government always declares that it is fighting against human traffickers and seeks to amend the demographic structure, which was affected by the beneficiaries who brought thousands of workers in exchange for a certain amount – about KD1,500 for each visa, in addition to KD500 for transfer within the country.

According to sources, visa traders have collected huge amounts through this illegal work; indicating the gains from the recruitment of about 250,000 workers over the past years reached KD375 million; in addition to millions of Kuwaiti dinars for the renewal and transfer of visas.

As for the unemployed, statistics from the Public Authority for Civil Information show that approximately 4,200 expatriates are not working and are registered in the State’s systems as part of the labor force.

This means the number of unemployed expatriates is about to reach half a million; thus, the need to address the demographic imbalance immediately. The marginal workers are involved in several jobs, the most prominent of which is the ‘contractor’ that works in building projects, special plots, finishing, installation, transportation, storage of furniture, sanitation, ceramics and dyes.

Some of them work in carpentry and blacksmith shops, auto repair, selling spare parts, markets, personal services, cattle market, birds, forestry, agriculture and domestic labor.

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