180 Filipino workers in Riyadh launches hunger strike
AL-KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia - 180 overseas Filipino workers in Riyadh began a hunger strike on July 19th, in protest against the abuses they have experienced and the neglect of the Philippine government.
Migrante-Middle East, an overseas Filipino workers’ (OFW) activist group said that the families of these OFWs staged a simultaneous “solidarity fasting” on the 22nd of this month at the Department of Labor and Employment in Manila.
Overseas Foreign Workers have filed complaints to the Ministry of Labor in Saudi Arabia and the Philippine Embassy. The complaints mentioned the abuses of illegal recruitment, contract violation, overcharging of placement fees, contract substitution, collection of fees without official receipts, collection of excessive fees, loans with high interest rates, poor working accommodations, illegal salary deductions, non-issuance and renewal of residence permit, working permits and medical insurance. The complaints include non-payment of salaries in ten months to over one year, no overtime pay and underpayment of salaries.
Complaints came from 98 OFWs of Al-Swayeh company, 48 cleaners of Al-Zahran company, 17 workers of Al-Naseeb Establishment, 19 of Al-Sabillah Construction and other individual for repatriation cases.
Licensed recruitment agencies in Manila involved in contract violation, abuse and exploitation of OFWs are Saveway International Manpower, Osims Oriental Skills International Manpower, RPF Business Management & Consultancy Inc., Irsal Employment Services Inc., GBMLT Manpower Services Inc., Nawras Manpower Services Inc., Al Assal Manpower Inc., Matawi and Four Brothers.
The Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants expresses its solidarity with the Overseas Filipino Workers in Saudi Arabia, who are holding this hunger strike, and with their families in the Philippines, fasting in like mindedness.
They call upon the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, the Philippines Overseas Employment Agency, the Overseas Workers Welfare Assistance, the Department of Justice, the Department of Labor and Employment and Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to attend to the aforementioned complaints made by the OFWs in Saudi Arabia and their families, offer safe repatriation to those OFWs in Saudi Arabia, who have made requests and suspend and sanction the licensed recruitment and placement agencies involved in the abuse and exploitation of OFWs in Saudi Arabia.
Tags: OFW , Hunger Strike , Riyadh , Migrante , Labor , Violation
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