Shortage of domestic workers expected – ‘Neglect fueled labor crisis’

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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 11: Head of the Kuwait Union of Domestic Labor Recruitment Bureaus Khaled Al-Dakhnan affirmed that the Philippines’ decision to stop the export of its domestic workers to Kuwait was an expected one in recent times, especially in light of the successive problems that these workers suffer from without any actual solutions on the ground by the concerned authorities, reports Al-Anba daily. In a press statement, he explained that the recent murder was one of the main reasons for the decision.

Another reason was that the Philippine embassy recently expressed its deep dissatisfaction with the accumulation of domestic workers inside its building, which reached approximately 485 domestic workers who suffer from problems with their employers without reaching any quick solutions. The union had repeatedly appealed to the Domestic Labor Department to solve the problems of these workers and quickly obtain their dues, but there was no quick move or clear response in this regard.

Al-Dakhnan said, “If a worker goes to the Domestic Labor Department to present her complaint, she is accused of not having the desire to continue working. They do not look at the reasons that may be logical and within its basic rights, such as the sponsor’s delay in paying the salary, or working hours that are longer than stipulated in the domestic labor law. Unfortunately, in these cases, the labor office is not summoned to attend the investigation.

It is summoned only at the time of paying the workers’ flight tickets. The offices in Kuwait, along with the offices in the Philippines, bear the losses represented in the value of what remains of the “two-year contract” concluded between the employer and the worker.
This crisis is not the first of its kind, as the domestic labor sector has been suffering for many years from continuous suspension decisions that last for months and sometimes for a whole year”. He indicated that he is expecting the continued scarcity of domestic workers during the month of Ramadan, especially since the sector is completely dependent on Filipino labor, which constitutes 80 percent of the workers in the sector.

Al-Dakhnan said the union has been appealing to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Domestic Labor Department in the Public Authority for Manpower for many years. He highlighted the importance of concluding joint cooperation agreements in the field of domestic workers with a larger number of exporting countries, “so that we do not fall into such crises that harm the interest of the citizens and incur more losses for office owners”. Al-Dakhnan stressed that the union had also appealed through the daily previously to expedite the signing of the joint cooperation agreement with the Ethiopian side, which confirmed its approval of all Kuwaiti conditions for signing the memorandum.

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