Thursday, August 2, 2007

Gulf may ban SOUTHEAST ASIAN domestic workers

The GCC Committee for Importing Foreign Workers unanimously agreed to stop importing some Southeast Asian migrant workers until their government's labour laws have been clarified.

Regulation of the Labour laws had been passed by Southeast Asian countries aimed at improving the standard of living for its citizens working in the region.

The new Philippine government regulations, passed in December last year, require GCC employers to pay a minimum salary of $400 a month to any Filipino working as domestic help – double the previous minimum salary of $200.

Employers are also required to sign a declaration stipulating that they will pay a daily fine of around $13 if they do not pay workers on time.

While Indonesian authorities have ruled to increase the wages of its citizens working as maids in Saudi Arabia from $160 to $213 a month from August 1, 2007

The said minimum salary regulations are not binding on any of the GCC’s six member states.

GCC Committee for Importing Foreign Workers agreed to lobby authorities to stop importing Filipinos while Saudi recruitment agencies have threatened to petition the government to stop issuing work visas to Indonesians after the Southeast Asian country’s decision to raise the minimum wage for Indonesian maids working in Saudi Arabia.

I worked in the Gulf States for almost five years and I think it is about time someone took a stand on this, I've seen workers (not necessarily domestic helpers and not only Filipino) basically treated like slaves. They have to pay their sponsor, tickets to and from home country and then spend up to three years without a break, often in debt so they cannot afford to leave of their own free will.

There's nothing bad protecting your own people. Giving better compensation to employees, most especially house assistants/housemaids, will benefit the employers/sponsors the most. Filipino workers (or other nationalities), will of course display efficient / excellent performance, will often give satisfying results, if they are paid and treated well. Always remember, since the topic is Filipino Housemaids - employers MUST extend full and humanely support to these workers, because these Filipino housemaids are the ones taking care of simple to royal families, children and olds alike are entrusted to them, your food and even the utmost confidential issues and things at your home front. And yet, the Philippine Govt. is aggressively finding solutions to improve the works and the welfare of the Filipino workers, which, then and again will have an optimistic effect to their superiors wherever they maybe.

On the other hand, the GCC have the right to govern themselves as they see fit. It's the GCC residents' decision to hire and pay who and what they want. It's the simple economic principle of Supply and Demand. If the Philippines make the supply more expensive the demand will drop and the GCC consumers will look elsewhere. The GCC doesn't owe the Filipino's anything further than that.


Pisanu for BISEAN said...

This is preposterous! A little more appreciation with their housekeepers won't hurt too much.

This is bad news and needs to be acted upon by Philippine and Indonesian government.

Thanks for sharing. :-)

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