Construction

Saudi Filipino group on “illegal recruitment” hunger strike

130 construction workers strike in protest of illegal recruitment, abusive employers and government neglect

More that 100 Filipino construction workers in Saudi Arabia have begun a hunger strike in protest of “illegal recruitment, abusive employers and government neglect”.

It is the second such strike this year and has been organised to coincide with the People’s SONA (State of the Nation Address).

The group of 130 are employed by Al-Swayeh company, Al-Naseeb Establishment and Al-Sabillah Construction; a further 48 workers employed as cleaners by Al-Zahran company are also taking part  in the strike.

All are members of Migrante-Middle East (MME), a Filipino activist organisation, which describes itself as “The most active and progressive alliance of various Migrante chapters in the Middle East and other Overseas Filipino Workers organizations”.

According to the group’s website the protestors were recruited by agencies, including: Saveway International Man Power, Osims Oriental Skills International Manpower, RPF Business Management & Consultancy Inc, Irsal Employment Services Inc, GBMLT Manpower Services Inc, Nawras Manpower Services Inc (formerly Nawras Manpower Services), Al Assal Manpower Inc, Matawi, 4 Brothers, and other still unidentified agencies.

All the recruitment agencies named are licensed by POEA in Manila and MME says the contracts works are bound under have been violated through the 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 IQAMA (working permit), non-payment of salaries in 10 months to over one year, no overtime pay, underpayment of salaries and non-renewal of expired contracts, residence permits and medical insurances.

The workers families in the Philippines are reported to be holding a ‘solidarity strike’ in their home towns.

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