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Regional migrant's NGO calls for justice to abused OFWs and repatriation of stranded workers in KSA
Date: 01/08/2012 - 11:00
“The conditions of 180 stranded overseas Filipino workers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia necessitate immediate action from concerned agencies of the Philippine government. We join international organizations and OFW groups around the world in the urgent call to address the workers’ complaints and bring them home to their families.”
This was declared today by Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM) managing director Ramon Bultron in light of the protest action by stranded OFWs within the compound of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh on July 28. APMM is a regional center for migrant workers based in Hong Kong.
“Despite their legitimate demands, the overseas workers have been waiting in vain for the fulfillment of government officials’ promises of assistance and resolution of their complaints - some of which have been made more than year now. This is clear abandonment and neglect,” he said.
Ninety-eight OFWs from Al-Swayeh company, 48 cleaners from Al-Zahran company, 17 workers from Al-Naseeb Establishment, 19 OFWs from Al-Sabillah Construction and other individual repatriation cases filed complaints the Ministry of Labor in Saudi Arabia and the Philippine Embassy.
Their complaints include 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 of IQMA working permits, non-payment of salaries for ten months to over one year, no overtime pay, underpayment and non-renewal of expired contract, residence permit and medical insurance.
“We urge the Aquino government, specifically the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, the Philippines Overseas Employment Agency, the Overseas Workers Welfare Assistance, Department of Justice, and the Department of Labor and Employment to immediately address the complaints made by the OFWs their families. They must also immediately process the repatriation of those OFWs 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,” Bultron concluded.
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