847 unpaid workers in Kuwait
More OFWs get help
The government will extend all necessary assistance, including repatriation, to 847 more distressed overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said yesterday.
Those in Kuwait are in addition to the more than 10,200 OFWs already provided with assistance from Riyadh, Al Khobar and Jeddah, all still reeling from the effects of the slump in oil prices in the Middle East early this year.
Bello said the 847 OFWs are not being paid their salaries by their employer, the Kharafi National KSC, the past two to four months. He added that he plans to go to the said country to look into the conditions of the said workers.
Of that number, 773 are laborers and 74 are in supervisory, engineering, and administrative positions.
Bello, citing a report from Labor Attache Angelita Narvaes of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Kuwait, said that representatives from the POLO and Kharafi National KSC met last month to discuss the recurring problem of delayed payment of salaries.
During the said meeting, Kharafi management agreed to settle their obligation to the affected OFWs by the end of October. Bello already ordered the POLO-Oman to monitor the compliance of the company to the agreement.
Narvaes reported that the Kuwaiti company also allowed the workers to resign and return to the country.
The workers who asked to be transferred to other Kuwaiti company will be allowed provided they were employed by Kharafi for more than three years.
Last August, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) ordered the disqualification of Kharafi National KSC from the country’s overseas employment program. This after POLO-Kuwait requested the POEA to stop new deployment of OFWs for Kharafi because of recurring problems of unpaid salaries to its workers.