Kuwaiti MPs slam govt over expat labor unrest


Undersecretary Mohammad Al-Kandari said the ministry will do whatever it takes to safeguard the rights of workers through imposing severe penalties on all errant employers and company owners.
A ministry official however stated the ministry is not conversant with dealing with the companies effectively which is why it will refer them to the Cabinet, reported Al-Qabas.
The ministry’s top priority is to tackle the issues of ongoing strikes through negotiations between workers and their employers, he added. In another development, several MPs slammed a lack of government’s control over cleaning service companies that have been defaulting payments of workers’ salaries.
They blamed the lack of government supervision that led to the country being faced with labor unrest that soiled Kuwait’s reputation internationally. Instead of looking for solutions to end the strikes, the government has started looking at possibilities of recruiting laborers from other Asian countries; except Bangladeshis or Pakistanis as they are known to have records of resorting to violence, they added.
An official also disclosed that the HH the PM Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad’s itinerary, during his current visit of Asian countries, also includes negotiations in contracting new laborers, reported Al-Watan.
Meanwhile, MP Saleh Ashoor held the government entirely responsible for the violent state of affairs sparked through the recent labor unrest. He said it is the government who is in charge of executing contracts and granting tenders to companies, and hence should have exercised effective supervisory control over their functioning.
He said it is the constitutional right of MPs to hold the government accountable for its inadequacies, and did not rule out the possibility of a grilling motion. He rejected allegations that MPs were the cause of the current situation and said demands put forth by the striking laborers were completely legal and entirely humane.
He also slammed the employers’ inhumane practice of retaining their employees’ bank cards, withdrawing their salaries and paying them far lesser than what they were contracted for. He urged the government and MPs to set aside their differences and work together in reaching an amicable and realistic solution. What is important is that the laborers are given justice, he said. He called upon the government to impose strict restrictions on the contracting companies to abide by the contracts and urged the Minis
try of Social Affairs and Labor not to compromise on maintaining the law.
MP Ali Al-Amair has expressed his unhappiness with the current status of Asian workers in Kuwait, saying that they have more than once demanded less than their full rights. He revealed that MPs have agreed to form a committee to monitor laborers’ conditions and review information relating to residency visa traders.
The MP said that the parliamentary human rights committee had previously been tasked with dealing with this issue and demanded that it play its proper role in examining Asian workers’ problems and ensuring that their rights be accorded to them, emphasizing that many MPs are wholly supportive of these workers. MPs do not wish to create problems, but to solve them, Al-Amir insisted, stating that the parliamentarians appreciate the role of the human rights committee which has already begun consultations on th
e issue and that they await its findings. In the meantime, he added, MPs have the right to ask questions and to assess progress on the matter, even if they are forced to call a special session to discuss it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *