Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Paid Their Dues and Deported

From today’s Kuwait Times:

KUWAIT: The government reached an agreement with Asian workers yesterday to end a three-day strike over pay and conditions, state news agency KUNA said. Three hundred protesters were also deported after being paid their dues, Kuwait Times has learned. Earlier, hundreds of mainly Bangladeshi workers went on strike for a third day, seeking better pay and improved working conditions, with some overturning cars and ransacking offices.

This all started back a couple weeks ago – remember the hospital worker’s strike? The gas station attendant’s strike? And then the Kuwait Times wrote an article that the company had agreed to pay wages and the workers were going back to work.

The next day, the workers said there had never been any agreement, and no one had been paid! They lied, and hoped the problem would go away.

So my question today is – I believe 300 were deported – maybe more. Do you believe they were paid all their wages?

Several citizens were angry these people had chosen to demonstrate, riot, strike, etc and suggested they should take their case to the Kuwait courts. Do they have eyes to see? These are the little guys you see at the street corners, they don’t speak English or Arabic, they don’t have enough to eat, they don’t even have privacy or clothing or their wages. Go to court? How do they go to court?

I have always loved the verse in the Qur’an that talks about paying the laborer for his work before the sweat has dried on his back. I think there are some very guilty employers out there, and some very slimy recruiters, who bring people in with a whiff of hope for a better tomorrow, and then cheat them. It will be on their heads.

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July 29, 2008 - Posted by | Community, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Social Issues |

17 Comments »

  1. yes you are right! I got pissed off when I read a post yesterday and it’s like mocking the whole thing and again, twisted to bring it to serve their own selfishness. I say, since Kuwait is more than willing to help other Arab NON MUSLIM countries, let it start doing that internally

    Comment by chika | July 29, 2008 | Reply

  2. Chika, you are so fast! I just posted that article! You are amazing!

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 29, 2008 | Reply

  3. i wouldnt be surprised if no one was paid, or if said payment was “entrusted” to the company to settle the salaries.

    whether or not any of it is true, the fact that its possible that people got paid and a free ticket home means this is just the beginning and a precedent has been set.

    its going to be very interesting to see who riots next.

    Comment by sknkwrkz | July 29, 2008 | Reply

  4. One word… Corruption!

    Comment by Ansam | July 29, 2008 | Reply

  5. Intlxpatr

    We haven’t seen the end of it , funny how after all this rioting no one knows the name of the companies involved ,or the name of the owners of these companies ,that’s how powerful they are and that’s how corrupt the ministry of work is .You may remember that India has sent a warning to Kuwait about extreme communist group coming to Kuwait to agitate the laborers a few months ago , i guess it is working .

    I like the way some Kuwaitis started to clean up their work place and make their own tea ,one unintended result of the strike , but the grand prize goes to the lady who brought her house maid with her to work to clean up the bathroom . heheheh she called in the reserve tat tart tart tara charge

    Comment by daggero | July 29, 2008 | Reply

  6. Believe it or not the foremen who are in direct contact with the employees & the ones that got hurt were of their own blood too. That’s how steep corruption has become. Even their own countrymen try to fleece them.

    Poor souls.

    Comment by Я | July 29, 2008 | Reply

  7. just like every other real problem in Kuwait, this will last for a couple of days and then we’ll move on. without a solution.

    certain people are happy with the millions of kuwaiti dinars they’re gaining from those workers yearly.

    Comment by Yousef | July 29, 2008 | Reply

  8. I remember reading Samuelson, Skunk, you know, Econ 100, and he says “the poor do not always starve quietly.” Actually, it is the poorest who starve quietly, the rioting starts when something called “relative deprivation” kicks in – they look around and see what others have and they do not have – and that is when the troubles start. I just hope they didn’t get deported with nothing. I hope they received their salaries, and the back wages they were owed. When it happens so fast, my bet is that they did not.

    Ansam, I think you are right. And the enormity of it fills me with trepidation, because I believe in an afterlife. How do you face your creator, when you have cheated so many human beings? I think I would be terrified!

    Daggero – you brought up some very interesting points (where is your blog?? You should be blogging!) I remember wondering once which companies were involved – but you are right, why isn’t that common knowledge? It is, after all, NEWS. Good point. I didn’t know about the communist threat. No! No! A woman brought her own maid to work?? No! No!

    Я – I remember reading months ago about their own countrymen being a big part of the problem. Theives hand in hand with thieves, I guess. The whole thing is a horrible disgrace.

    Yousef – I’m with Skunk on this one – I think there will be more unrest to come. This problem has been simmering and ready to boil over for a long time. And you are right, someone has made a lot of money by cheating men of their honest wages. What a shameful thing to do. Ayb! Ayb! on them.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 30, 2008 | Reply

  9. The citizens were upset? I suppose it does look bad, and now it’s all over the international news.

    Any foreigner here who has to deal with the courts knows how difficult it is (been there) and to suggest they should simply walk (they don’t have money) to the courthouse, file cases (not knowing the language) in this horrible heat has no no compassion.

    I truly wish the Kuwaiti people would try to put themselves in the shoes of other humans.

    How do you eat without a salary? How do you eat with salaries many times below 20 KD? My cats eat that much per month. God help the foreign workers in Kuwait.

    Comment by Viking Daughter | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  10. Oddly enough, Vikings Daughter (I am not going to call you VD!) there hasn’t been a thing, not a single thing on the news in Seattle. I am told that it is on CNN and BBC. Few people here have the slightest clue.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  11. samuelson was right, after all the relative deprivation protests actually started last year, when the locals went to protest at parliament for a debt write off. i’ll bet even samuelson would have been disgusted at how right he was :P

    Comment by sknkwrkz | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  12. Intlxpatr , i tried starting a blog , buttruthfully i couldnt manage it, the number of emails generated by the system itself were overwhelming .

    regarding Viking Daughter abbreviation may i suggest the nick Viki De
    ( i stopped by her blog )

    Comment by daggero | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  13. Hmmm, yeh . . . interesting connection, Skunk. I had not thought of that.

    You got that much e-mail, Daggero? You must have been really GOOD!

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  14. intlxpatr

    Sorry , i didnt make my self clear enough , i got few emails from the system ,and i panicked even they were little so i stopped , i wasnt that good . eheheehe

    Comment by daggero | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  15. Ahhh, courage, Daggero!

    It can be overwhelming, and a little scary when you begin. And then, later on, you face days when you just can’t think of a thing, either.

    One of the first blogs I ever followed, WaiterRant.com, has just published a book! He wrote about experiences as a waiter in New York City – and his horrible customers. It was fascinating.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 31, 2008 | Reply

  16. sknk and intlpxter, thank you, never realized how difficult it is to abbreviate my name.

    Vik De works. :)

    Furthurmore, I became dyslexic typing yours.

    Seattle, so much rain,but such clean air. Lucky you.

    Comment by Viking Daughter | August 2, 2008 | Reply

  17. Great cool air, warm sunshine – like Kuwait in winter :-)

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 3, 2008 | Reply


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